Surely, most of us have heard a customer service horror story or two. Like the one about someone getting put on hold for forty-five minutes only to have their call dropped before getting the chance to speak to the service technician about their malfunctioning computer, or of some poor soul standing in queue for over an hour at the airport just to find out that they’ve been standing in the wrong line and the correct line stretches down the hall and round the corner. Perhaps, some of us have lived these tales of terror or something similar. Experiencing poor customer service can generate feelings of anxiety, indignation, and straight-up rage.
By contrast, having an exceptionally good customer service experience can be memorable, epic, or even transformational. Take a moment to reflect on such an experience from your past and you just might find yourself smiling and nodding.
Experts tell us that, as technology advances, consumers are required more-and-more to provide their own solutions to basic problems, leaving the truly complex and difficult fixes to the customer service professional. Some claim that in a tech savvy world the ‘old school’ approach to customer service is supplanted by one that focuses much more heavily on technical skills than people skills.
While there may be an element of truth to this view, survey data from customers indicates that the ability of the service provider to empathize with the customer and their situation figures highly in the calculus of customer satisfaction and repeat business. In other words, the adage people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care still holds a lot of weight. Here is one example of this dynamic playing out.
We recently worked with a customer who manufactures custom concrete blocks specially designed and formulated to store and release heat energy. The customer needed a way to measure these blocks and determine whether they were in specification for certain characteristics such as flatness and angles. We suggested doing a video demonstration to show them the capabilities of our Artec Eva scanner.
However, due to the proprietary nature of their products and processes, they did not feel comfortable sending actual specimens for scanning. Our team determined that, to give them a meaningful demonstration, we would need to find something to scan that would closely replicate the size, shape, and texture of their product.
First, we paid a visit to our local home improvement center to purchase a cinder block or two. Then a scan was made of the block and then a basic CAD model was developed from the initial scan data.
Next, we scheduled a live video demonstration with our client to show them how straightforward the scanning process was using the Artec scanner and Artec Studio software for processing. Since we were using a cinder block for the process, the customer could have a high degree of confidence that the scanning of their blocks would go smoothly also.
Finally, we were prepared to show our prospects how simple and effective it was to overlay the scan data to the CAD model in programs such as Artec Studio, Geomagic Design X, and PolyWorks IM Inspect to produce reports to include deviation and thickness color maps, section views, and even measured dimensions.
As a result of the time and effort we spent to show our new friends the affordability, ease of use, reliability, and repeatability of collecting and analyzing data in this way, they chose to purchase the scanner system and software per our recommendation. We are convinced that they will get many years of good use from their system, and it will allow them to manufacture product efficiently and with high quality.
Advice abounds from experts as to the steps to excellent customer service. In our humble opinion, the key to providing an exceptional experience for customers begins with an attitude. This attitude may be described as one of servant leadership. The base elements of this attitude include other-mindedness, creative and collaborative problem-solving, a sincere desire to meet and exceed expectations, sacrifice, and, above all, a healthy dose of humility. With these at the heart, giving customer service which goes Above and Beyond the Call comes as naturally and effortlessly as A-B-C.
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis