Are there benefits in having a Customer Support Phone Number for your business? Here Peter Hanley looks at the concept from outside the circle of trust.
When customers want your support where do they go?
First of all, it is well known that things can go wrong and we all accept that.
How the problem is handled will make the difference to the result.
Online critiques can cause you massive damage and the loss of future business
Furthermore, you can’t afford for problems to escalate into
So, you need to fix them early and properly.
Often the person contacted is the generator of the problem. They, naturally, are going to protect themselves as best possible.
Natural defence comes in and we shift the issue back onto the customer. And so it starts again.
The problem solver should not be the problem generator
I may also add that the front desk person is not the right contact.
We want someone that will make a decision to solve the issue whatever it is.
You don’t need to be a big organisation to be caught in this.
I have worked with an Automotive Franchise that would send out service reminders for multiple outlets. Some customers would reply to the reminder with some pretty colourful language because an outlet had fobbed them off. We will never use you again type thing.
Now, these comments may have just been sent to the delete box as the customer was gone anyway.
Instead, each of the complaints was followed up and a remedy offered as settlement of the complaint.
Sometimes it worked, sometimes not but the customer was at least left with a better taste.
What was worthwhile however was that bad work or customer service was soon recognised by the company to an outlet or person and the perpetrator could be trained better, moved or otherwise handled.
Also interesting is that they could track complaint by numbers to see improvements in their responses
Find the complaint, fix the problem, monitor the results and work to greater returns.
How can you channel complaints?
One way is to offer a dedicated telephone number to do the job.
- Local telephone number
- 1300 or 1800 service
- Fixed inbound SMS number
Next, you set up a responsible person to take the calls, someone who can make a decision. Use a system that can easily redirect the calls and back it up with a message service so no customer is missed.
Do not give the callers the runaround, nothing pisses them off more than Buck Passing.
If you can’t fix the problem there and then tell them exactly what to expect and follow through on it.
The Damage done by one written online rant can cost you ten times that one loss in the future.
Advertise your complaint number, promote it and use it as a marketing tool. If you get no calls over a period of time or even reduced calls celebrate the success. If the rate increases action the problem early to prevent ongoing issues.
I believe all the good words are simply brushed over the bad ones are taken as gospel and spread quickly.
Do not ignore Bad reviews, complaints, or criticism because they grow from little acorns to massive trees and hurt your future business.
Escalated support service.
In some cases, a response may be required immediately, Dangerous or pressing issues that need fixing now.
This can be achieved automatically by using SMS messaging with a reply function. If the complaint or service issue is not handled by the nominated person and he does not respond to the first message the service escalates up the line every x minutes until someone owns the problem.
This is used by some of Australia’s top companies and is an ideal fail-safe procedure
How do you get a support phone number?
I thought you would never ask.
At Verdi Messaging we have been doing this for years and have all the numbers available even with escalation services to ensure completion. This is backed by your live web portal to view all ongoing activity.
Chose your type of number and destination and we do the rest.
Pricing varies what is required but starts at just $34.95 a month with support message service.
In conclusion, if you are interested in support services we are always willing to chat