Virtually Anything

Posts Tagged ‘Customer Service’

Don’t Be Bullied In Business

Posted by collinsadmin on July 28, 2008

We have our house up for sale and recently we got an offer that we accepted.  However, the buyer of our house thought that since the housing market being what it is today, he could bully us into doing what he wanted. Well needless to say, the deal fell through which is okay.

Some of you may be thinking, what the heck are you doing?  Getting a house sold right now is a great accomplishment.  I would tend to agree but I would rather live in my house than be bullied into something that I don’t believe in.  This whole ordeal was a huge awakening for me in what I perceive about myself and business.

Too often, business owners are bullied into doing something that is either against their personal principles or what they want for their business.  They do this because they believe that in order to get a client they need to submit to the demands, but that is not the case at all.

One thing that business owners need to take into consideration is that while the client may be providing your business with an income in the short term, in the long term this particular client will be more trouble than they are worth.  You will be babysitting more than doing what you love.  You will be bending over backwards just to keep him happy and is that really how you want to run your business.

Customer service is a big issue and from the time we get our first job until the time that we decide to think for ourselves, it is pounded into us that the customer is always right.  For some things that is true but not always.  As a business owner we need to stand up and stick to our guns about how we want our businesses ran.  Running a business does not mean that we need to put our principles and our beliefs to the side just to make a client happy.

We will all meet this dilemma at one time or another. A client who is overbearing, tries to micromanage everything you do and somebody who will find fault with everything you do. It is at this time that it is best to just cut the ties.  In the long run, your clients will appreciate the fact that you have principles and you will not set them aside just to make somebody happy.  You may lose that bully of a client but you will see that you will be much happier running your business as you wish and your clients will appreciate you more for not selling out just to make a buck. Not to mention the fact that business owners who love their business and love their clients are more successful than those who feel anxious or like the clients are running them.

Posted in business | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Credit Cards, Identity Theft and Customer Service, Oh My!

Posted by collinsadmin on October 20, 2007

With the fears of identity theft, credit card fraud and the ever dwindling good customer services issues facing our technological world today, I thought I would take a moment and tell you about an experience I had on Thursday.

I was in the process of making a purchase online for some virus scan software that has won numerous awards and is highly acclaimed.  The purchase was for roughly $65.00, not a huge amount by any means. I go through the whole process of making this purchase (of course making sure that the site is an https site)and it’s not completely processed on my computer screen yet when I get a phone call. To my amazement, it was my credit card company calling me to make sure that this was a legitimate purchase. I was like wow! that was quick. 

So once I go through all the questions they have to ask me such as, purchase amount, company name, security code etc I thanked the lady for making the phone call and verifying my information. It made me fill good that they were watching out for my best interests.

 Now some would argue that they are not watching out for your best interest but for the interests of the company because fraud and identity theft cost businesses billions of dollars each year. You know what, there ulterior motives are fine as long as they are protecting me from identity theft and fraud all while giving me good customer service.

You always hear in business that in order to get clients (consumers) you need to help them understand the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) aspect of doing business with you. In my opinion, their trying to help themselves by verifying purchases is also helping their customers.

Can you imagine what my life would be like if somebody really had my card and made that purchase or an even bigger purchase and my CC company didn’t call me to verify it.  It would take me months, maybe even years to regain my credit and my identity back because I didn’t get the option of stopping the charge before it went through.

 This credit card company has now captured my continued loyalty to their business.  Notice what a little bit of good customer service has accomplished and if they do this for every consumer, I guarantee people will think twice before switching their company.

Posted in Customer Service | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Importance Of Customer Service

Posted by collinsadmin on March 10, 2007

Today I was trying to order some supplies at Vistaprint.com and of course my internet and computer decided they didn’t want to work for me (who can blame them considering it has been in the single digits in my neck of the woods). I was trying to place the order and I got all the way to the point where they were asking for my billing address and payment information and then the next step was to complete my order. So I verified all that and clicked the button to complete order, but instead of completing my order it went back to the shipping and billing information page. So I thought well, maybe I didn’t do something right so I clicked continue and then went to complete order again. I then clicked the accept order button and low and behold it went back to the billing and shipping page again.

I was a little annoyed at this time but I was more concerned that I was going to get billed double so I looked at the contact us page and found the phone number to call them. So I call them once I get through the menu options (boy are those annoying no matter what company it’s for) and I reach a real live voice (WOO HOO a real live voice) and she couldn’t have been nicer and more courteous to me. She had my problem solved, and my order ordered in a matter of maybe 10 minutes. Needless to say, I will use their services again and won’t hesitate to tell everyone I know about the great service I received.

On the flip side, I can remember a well known company that I had to contact their customer service and it was just awful.

I got a bill in the mail saying that I was a month behind and I was like oooh crap. So I took a look at my check register and see that I wrote it out and I looked to make sure that I mailed it which I did. I then got online and looked to see if that check had cleared and it had before the bill was due. So I called this company and after not being able to get to a real live person for at least 15 minutes due to their “menu options” (trust me I was livid by then). I did finally get a real live person and explained to them that the check cleared, what the check number was, the day it cleared and so on and so forth. They argued with me and told me that they never received it. So I tried talking to that customer service representative until I was blue in the face and finally I had had enough so I asked to talk to the supervisor.

The supervisor then proceeds to tell me that there was nothing they could do. I mean come on, they had to have some kind of evidence that I paid the bill with all the computers and things out there right. So finally she says, “if you can get me a copy of the check and fax it to me and also the date it cleared” she would fix it. Well, in this computer age, I don’t get copies of my checks that have cleared anymore. To make a long story short I got the check faxed it to them and then called her back. Then to top it all off, they were going to charge me a $3.00 late fee. A late fee after I just proved that it wasn’t late. I know, I know $3.00 isn’t that much but if they charge 1000 customers $3.00 when their payment isn’t late that is a total of $3000 that they just got from unknowing customers.

So why am I going on and on about this? Basically, because you just can’t put enough emphasis on how important customer service is. Sure, we are outsourcing our customer call centers overseas because it’s cheaper to pay them but whatever happened to helping out our fellow man? Has money become such an issue in this country and this world that bigger corporations don’t care about how their clients (customers) feel just as long as they are getting a good deal with their employees.

I had a client contact me about doing some work for him, unfortunately I didn’t have the skills he needed but instead of blowing him off and saying he is out of luck it became my personal mission to find him somebody that could do that work for him. I found somebody too. I didn’t gain anything from it (well, I did get a referral). More than anything though, I had the satisfaction of knowing I helped out somebody and provided good customer service to them. Hopefully when they get to a point in their business where they need my services they will think of me because I helped them without asking for anything in return.

So honestly, would you rather take the extra couple of minutes and provide good customer service or would you rather be a big grump and not care about your clients? I would rather take the extra couple of minutes not only to gain customers but for my own personal satisfaction knowing that I helped.

Thanks for reading,

Tracy Collins

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »