I have had a little too much time on my hands recently, so in an attempt to try and stay somewhat productive, I decided I would do some much needed Website Maintenance. And I am not ashamed to admit that my website did require some attention. Which leads me to believe that your website might require some attention too? In fact there is a good chance it does. But don’t beat yourself up over it, just refocus your attention on improving your overall message. Try to avoid all the free new “bell and whistle” plug-ins that promise more than they ever really deliver. And perhaps just hone in on trying to offer better service, as it typically costs you nothing and can really only help in the end.
Personally I like to focus on helping Small Business owners, because they typically have the hardest time finding great support, and who can’t say they can relate to this at some point? Usually when I am contacted by a new possible client with questions on the services I offer, I have to be sure and catch myself from sounding too much like a used car salesman, and just relay in a calm manner how I might be able to assist, and then I leave it up to them as to how they might want to progress. But I make sure to tell them before closing each call to remember, “my door is always open”.
After all you can never really offer too much great Customer Service, or can you? And do larger companies even really place that much of an emphasis on offering great customer service anymore? Answering this truthfully, I would have to say the majority probably don’t. Let’s look at USPS for example, as they are one of the oldest companies to still be in business, and they are currently having financial problems and may not be able to remain viable. I propose one of the crucial areas that they may be overlooking, is in that of just trying to do better than promoting a c.y.a. policy like they did with regard to the receipt of my recent bullied parcel from Google which you can review below.
I know what you’re thinking. Everyone gets a wrinkled letter from time to time, big deal right? And your right, this did not ruin my life. But I am sure you too have noticed that larger companies are scaling back service and automating the bulk of the responsibilities. Is it right? Are we always satisfied with this? Well I can tell you that I am not always impressed by this personally, and yes I do appreciate that this also stems from our current economic state as well. But you know what they say about excuses.
Let’s look at another company. Take for example the not so gentle giant, Google. As I was explaining above, one of the things I updated recently was my contact information as my address had recently changed. Who has not had to do this before? It’s tedious and time consuming, and in most cases not something third party companies really make very easy for you to do.
So in my continued research I also found much to my surprise, my listing with Google was also not active or visible online to possible clients interested in my services. Now you probably already know this, but Google has millions of customers, so it is not really cost effective nor is it a goal of theirs to really promote a verbal support option to their clients. They would instead rather point you to their current faq or hide a back door incident specific contact form at best.
After some hair pulling, I calmly took the time to make sure I was contacting Google per their terms, and you can imagine my disappointment after receiving the email above advising me that they had no immediate magic wand to wave and make my listing appear online. Instead they just had a canned response confirming that my listing definitely was not active, and they would contact me when they have updates to anything different. Take your time Google, I am just a client.
Good service can be subjective. Take for example the recent news of LinkedIn announcing that they may have been hacked and unfortunately millions of possible user data and/or passwords may have been compromised. You can read more HERE. And while LinkedIn did not do this maliciously, they were just a victim of a very real problem, that of cyber security. But watch closely at what they do next, as this is ultimately bad for their business. I would bet that they will quickly understate the issue, and reiterate through a simple auto replied email how much they are now focusing even more on making sure something like this never happens again.
Most of us are just trying to advertise goods or a service to a prospective client. So if there is a take away message you should really be getting from this post it is that if your competitors (whether large or small) don’t offer great service, you should Take Advantage of a Serviceless Superhighway and do your best to offer better service whenever and however possible. And if you get for whatever reason “sucked in” to thinking you are already the best, perhaps you need to take a better look at your results, and more importantly from a possible clients perspective.