Monday, August 17, 2009

Customer service: Take it to the next level

This appeared in the eWorld supplement of The Hindu Business Line on Monday, August 17, 2009
The 'domain service provider' mentioned at the end is Sify Domains. The name was removed by the Desk while publishing.

You would have called some customer service set-up at some point of time. Did you come up against an unhelpful person who left you fuming?

Unfortunately, what many don’t realise is that there is no need to get worked up as unsolved complaints can be escalated.

If the ‘service’ rendered is not satisfactory, you can always call the Nodal Officer. The details are available on the Web sites. It is almost certain that the problem will be solved as the Nodal Officers are senior officials with enough powers. If you are still not satisfied, you can escalate it again to the Appellate Officer (or whatever he is called).

How fast the issue is resolved also depends on how you talk to customer care or Nodal Officers. It is no use haranguing them about what you think about them and their service. You will end up irritating them more.

A friendly but firm talk always pays. My experience with Nodal Officers has been excellent. Most issues have been resolved within a day.

But in the first place, why should a problem be allowed to be escalated to the next level?

That’s because the customer service guys deployed by most companies have no say except to note down your request and forward it to the department concerned. What companies don’t realise is that by empowering them a little more, they can grow customer satisfaction.

I realised this after my interaction with a domain service provider (Sify Domains) recently. I wanted to use Google Apps with one of my domain names. There was a huge difference between the instructions provided by Google Apps and the domain management fields of the service provider.

All it took was one phone call. The person handling it asked me to send an e-mail, which I promptly did. The change was made in less than three minutes. I later discovered I had to make two more changes in the domain settings. Again, each change was made within three minutes of my sending the e-mails.

Next time you need to call customer service, just ensure you talk politely and in a friendly manner. If you are not satisfied, remember that you can always escalate the complaint.

R. Dinakaran

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,