I recently had an experience with my cell phone provider that holds a great lesson for entrepreneurs. I set up a new phone for a very specific business purpose. I explained to the cell phone rep what it was for, and he signed me up with the service I required. When I went to use the phone, it was not working properly, so after exhausting every possible solution I could think of, I went to the company for assistance. Two reps could not find a solution at the store, and told me to call tech support.
I made the call to tech support and was on hold, twice, with tech support for over an hour, with no resolve.
One tech support person advised me they are not trained to check to see if phones are compatible with their network. Shouldn’t this be standard practice if you are signing people up for your service?
The third rep I spoke to assured me he would look into it and call me back same day with the solution. He never did call back. I went from being a very happy customer, to questioning my continuation with this company.
This article is not about the cell phone provider….I simply wanted to paint a picture of what can cause an unhappy customer. Where did this company go wrong? The customer service in this situation was massively lacking. I have been very happy with this provider for many years, but never had a tech issue I had to ask for assistance with. It is during times of customer challenges that a company has an opportunity to prove their value to the customer. Lack of employee training and poor customer support are what drive customers away. Lost business is a huge waste of time, advertising costs and future business for companies. Spending millions on advertising to gain customers is a complete waste of money if you are not training staff to service clients so they REMAIN happy, loyal customers. Word of mouth about great experiences is one of the most powerful FREE advertising methods there is. When a customer is not happy, it can be one of the most destructive.
It is vital for companies to train their people effectively. When a client needs assistance this is when a company has an opportunity to shine. If it is not handled correctly, most customers will leave, bad mouth the company, perhaps yell at the customer service rep, and post negative comments across social media. Something that many companies do not consider is that when a customer is unhappy, they will often take it out on the employee. Employees that are dealing with complaints all the time, get worn down. That negative experience is not just bad for the customer, it is equally as bad for the employee, who feels a lack of effectiveness in their job. This leads to dissatisfaction in their work and disengagement in the workplace. It becomes a domino effect. That employee will discuss with other employees, disengagement multiplies, good people leave and companies spend money replacing them. So now the company has lost the customer and the employee! That money would have been better spent training existing employees, which would have built their confidence, made them more effective in their work, and given them the ability to serve clients better so they stay happy clients. This is such a no brainer, but sadly so many companies just don’t understand this.
There is so much red tape to push through in many bigger organizations and this results in employee training being neglected. However, if you are an entrepreneur, you can absolutely learn from this and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes. Give your people the training they need and deserve. It isn’t just to benefit them. This is a huge benefit to you and your business.