Posts Tagged Customer Service Dept

Think service or fail

If ever there was a case for making sure your service has to be spot on, check out the early reviews online about Lumosity, the mind game site. People have rated it very poorly, on service, on responsiveness, of not being able to get a person on the phone, the auto renewal for charges, and the list goes on.

The people at Lumosity would do well to read some of these and act fast. Not sure if they have or not, but they will need to do something to stem the tide of negativity from their consumers that all the advertising in the world will not overcome.

In this enlightened age most people I know will now check reviews for anything they want to buy, and if it’s not so hot, they will check out other options.

What gives?

Customer service is a vital part of what your business does, get good at it… No get brilliant at it.

Who cares?

Your bottom line will care that’s who! and then you will, especially if your income drops too far. Then don’t come running to me saying “business is tight, people aren’t buying” etc.

Fact is people know what they want, a business that is easy to deal with, responsive and makes them feel ok at the very least. Lumosity reviews suggest the company does little of the above. If I had read these first I would would have avoided it. However I personally find it a useful mind tool to explore and so far I am reasonably happy, I have turned off my auto renewal and have not had to contact customer service!

Get Smart

Yes there are lessons here folks, get smart about finding out what your service is like, what things need to alter and do it fast. and don’t just say “Oh that was just one grumpy customer that complained” go all out and launch an investigation to discover if things could have been done better. Chances are you will discover plenty to work on. Send in spies, have your spies ring in and ask for quotes, information etc and see how well they were handled.

Get active

Make changes if you find any issues that can be improved. Let’s face it customer service is the first and last contact point you will have with customers, the product/service you provide will simply be the ‘meat in the sandwich’.


Steve Gray

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I was shocked, and then I realised…

Image courtesy of jscreationzs from

Image courtesy of jscreationzs from

I watched in horror at first, then they simply continued!

On reflection they did the best possible thing, so simple yet it worked a treat! I was witnessing what I had come to see, a team that had a rock solid induction program for new employees. Their drop out rate was low, their success rate post induction very high.

The secret was very simple, although I was told it took them a long while to figure out what needed to be done. The aim was good, to make sure the induction program gave new employees the best chance of success going into their role in a new company.

One of the best things they did was the early research, those that didn’t do so well were solidly interviewed to find out why. The answers ranged from, the recruitment process right through to the induction program. Some of it was a clash with the approach the Trainers used, for others it was the lack of depth in the training.

Identifying and consistently working on the program gave them a best practice approach to work with.

Here are just some of the big changes they made.

  • Make the new people feel fantastic – They made sure that the arrival of the new people was as stress free and openly welcoming as possible, hand shaking, warm smile, a top notch training room, equipment and facilities. The start time was purposely 1/2 an hour later than normal, parking had been paid for and made seemless, lunch provided and any details not quite right were adjusted post haste
  • No nasties – The training program had been worked on to ensure it was direct and punchy, the speakers were coached and stayed within their time frames and followed the outline of what they had to say
  • Repetition works – When the program got underway the details of company wide tasks such as answering the phone were clearly outlined, then practiced over and over in ways that defied the old ‘rote learning’ miserable repetition. The training team had developed a simple video, worked out a series of small team coaching approaches and worked with each person to ensure they got the basic message and clarified the details. Each new employee was then given a link to an in house video to follow up with and practice in their own time
  • Real people with real feedback – At various times team memebers from various parts of the organisation came in and gave a few minutes of their view of the organisation and why they were believed they were part of a fantastic winning team. They spoke in glowing terms about the organisation as well as giving real world examples of challenges they faced and how their supervisors coached and mentored them through the challenges
  • Day two begins… – A review of the previous days highlights soon got the room energised and up to speed and ready to tackle new material. The training crew had also checked out how many views the online in house training video had, they were pleased to report the view number was high. Discussion took place about details of the video which lead into more hot topics on ways things were done company wide
  • Interactive – The new recruits were given ample opportunity to interact with each other and discuss what they had learnt, reviewing the material presented. They then had the chance to discuss any challenges with the trainers and speakers
  • Practical points and conecpts too – While the practicalities of the organisation and the role were discussed, so too were the underlying concepts and notions that caused the organisation to be what it is. The mission and vision with a full values list were put forward. The group then explored the values in action, with examples given from current employees and training staff alike. Another link was provided to a slide show with narration on how the values could be worked on, develop and explored
  • Catch up time – The whole group was given a time to get together again in a few weeks to discuss how things were going and ways to make the next induction process even more effective. Of courrse they were also given details of their “support buddy” in their area and a HR contact to chat to as well.

You can imagine how thrilled I was to witness all of this, clearly a first class organisation that cares about it’s team members and the vital role they play in the organisations success. Shocked, yes because this level of care they were willing to show, and clearly how they wanted their external paying customers to feel as well.. I smiled widely!

It was about then the alarm went off and I woke up.

Hope you enjoyed my outline, I can only hope that one day most mid to large organsiations actually do this as a matter of course.


Steve Gray

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It’s all in the details

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles from

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles from

I have a few places I shop at for “musical items”, with about three places to choose from locally and a bunch just an hour up the road I am a bit spoilt for choice, not to mention the online stores. Today I was zipping by one of the three ;local ones and needed one simple item.

In a customer service sense I like to shop live, rather than onlilne, so I get to compare details, brands, friendliness, and sometimes even price, note how that comes in last…

This morning while looking and asking questions I was wonderfully surprised by the gent doing the serving. Firstly on the bench there was a beautifully hand crafted instrument, it looked like an eight stringed banjo, but I was soon mesmerised by the gent picking it up and saying “it’s a Ukelele… hand made in Australia, listen to this!” he played a few chords and it a lovely resonant warm tone that beckoned forth. Simply exquisite!

From that point he could have sold me a few items, I was captivated and it was there that the details all kicked in.

There was no “Can I help you?”, and thank goodness for that! There was no hurried “Yes what can I get you?” No no, it was a very dignified honest approach, I felt welcome from the ‘get go’ and for the first time in ages I felt like I could readily ask questions about a whole bunch of things, so I did, a few minutes soon turned into about twenty.

I bought what I came for and left with a spring in my step, I had found soemone who clearly has a delight for musical things, an interest in quality, and the the discussion on alternative instruments was quite fascinating.

I was impressed, I bought, I gained more knowledge and feel as if I could go back and readily interact some time soon, I even went as far as to allow him to add me to their data base!

The only thing that bothers me is if the guy serving me is not there the next time I go in. I have shopped there before and have mixed feelings about some of the other staff. Indeed another staff member in the shop today was a surly so and so, and I deduced that just from her facial expression/s.

Next time I will stride in with confidence but perhaps fully expect to be let down, due to past experiences perhaps weighing heavily in the background.

What can we learn and put in place from all this?

  • Be genuine – I felt it right from the start, he was interested and interesting, warm and inviting.
  • Be nice – Welcoming, open and friendly, he even used my name as I left wishing me a good day, nice touch!
  • Know your product/s – My questions were answered with clarity and interest as well as showing a depth of experience, I know he knew his stuff.
  • Offer more – I got added to their data base becuase he offered me the opportunity, simply by asking if I was on the data base already, I then asked if he would like to add me, no hard sell from his side of things.
  • Impress me – The hand made instrument on the front bench had me from the start, how it looked and sounded, I loved it (although not a big Ukelele freak per se).
  • Leave me on the up – I felt good leaving, and felt so pleased here I am writing about it!
  • Train your team – Pick up on the details that work in teh intereactions your staff have with the cutomers, then figure out what is the most genuine way to make those details a reality. Now train the team in the details.

If you are into causing your customers to love what you have to offer, be all you can be to cause people to love what you have and how you present it, they will be back for more… Now to make it a consistent offering!



Steve Gray

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