Innovators providing their spin on customer service.
Friday, January 13, 2017
Going the Extra Mile
By: Sean Hawkins
Over the Christmas and New Year holiday, I spent a considerable amount of time taking customer calls. Support team members were taking well deserved time off, which meant I had to step in. I didn’t mind at all. In fact, I always spend time working on the front line to ensure I’m aware of the needs of the team and customers.
During this time, I spoke with a customer who was a having an issue that was outside the scope of support I should offer. Having resolved numerous calls and emails, I must admit, I was quite tired. This was an ideal opportunity to advise the customer her issue was outside of the level of support that we offer. Besides that, it was almost quitting time!
I’m happy to say, I did not capitalize on the customer’s misfortune. I wanted to help her because it was the right thing to do. Also, being within earshot of team members, I could have sent the wrong message about the kind of organization we are striving to be.
Let's go back in time. Many years ago, a team member told me, “Sean, this caller wanted to order pizza”. When I asked what he did, the agent said he found the number to the pizza shop. I was elated with his response! I was convicted! From that point on, I always remind staff, “If the caller wants pizza, help them order pizza”.
Well, this customer didn’t want pizza. She wanted the sound on her PC to work. As she was using our software, she assumed there was a defect. After verifying it was not, I advised her I could help but, if the device was under warranty she would be best served to contact the manufacturer. It wasn’t, so I began to troubleshoot the problem.
Having family members who at one point were not computer literate finally paid off! I had helped them many times over the years, I was more than confident I could get this resolved. And, I did! Though it took a while, together, we were able to restore the sound.
As I was closing, I thanked her for calling and wished her a Merry Christmas. She in turn thanked me for “going the extra mile” in resolving a problem that “was not yours to own”. Perhaps my perspective is out of the norm. Maybe, this is not a common approach in many contact centers. However, if the ability to help presents itself, I always want to go the extra mile. It’s a great way to create a loyal customer, and establish a culture of service that is unmatched. It also reminds me of pizza!
How does your contact center go the extra mile? Share your thoughts.
Sean Hawkins is a Contact Center manager with over 15 years of experience. He has a terrific pulse on incorporating innovation into the contact center. He's implemented social, outsourcing partners, new technology, and new products, while maintaining an award-winning contact center.