The Customer Service Line You’re Not Answering

Posted on: January 13, 2013

Question: Which is greater—the number of home service companies touting their exceptional customer service or tweens at the mall in Justin Bieber T-shirts? Answer: Who cares? There are far too many of both and they annoy the crap out of me.

It’s easy to say that you’re committed to customer satisfaction, but delivering on that promise is far more difficult. For home service companies that are serious about customer service, answering your phone promptly is a big deal. No prospective or current client wants to wait ring after ring—especially when there’s a problem.

Even if your company is good and you answer the phone before the second ring, I can almost guarantee that there’s one customer service line you’re not answering promptly. Most companies don’t know it’s “ringing.” Heck, some companies are unaware that it even exists!

According to John Rote, director of operations and customer experience at Bonobos, 25 percent of their customer service cases come in via social media. In the past, these people probably would have picked up the phone to call you directly with their issue. Today, they broadcast it to their network via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Social media websites have become the equivalent of a customer help desk.

John asks, “if the phone was ringing, would you not pick up?”

Now, Bonobos is not a home service company, but they are one of the few companies that “get” social media and, if you own a home service business, there’s a lot you can learn from guys like John.

Social media is the customer service line you’re not answering.

Customers are talking about your business online (and if they’re not, they should be). Sometimes the conversation is direct—a customer posting an issue they’ve had with your service on your Facebook page. Other times, the conversation is indirect—a random status update (bad or good) or a conversation between friends about your business.

Are you going to pick up the phone and get involved in the conversation or just let it ring and ring unanswered?

Savvy companies are using social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to take a proactive approach to customer service. They’re building and engaging their community and addressing issues before they become problems.

Jeff Bezos offers perhaps the most compelling reason to “answer” the social media customer service line. On the web, everyone has a megaphone. They can use it to help you build your business or they can use it to destroy you.

The phone is ringing … all you have to do is pick it up.

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