Don’t let the buyer beware

January 30, 2009

customerservprior2jWhen people want to “do” new media and social networking, are they trying to check a box? Are their intentions pure? Both? It’s hard to know sometimes

A lot is said about customer service. Sounds good … what is it? If it is saying yes to whatever anyone wants, that might be customer service in a 5-star hotel, but not necessarily what it should mean here. We should all be each other’s customers. And that means asking the tough questions and giving the tough answers, and working together honestly to find solutions.

What are you trying to accomplish? Who are you trying to reach? What resources will you commit? Enquiring minds want to know … and help you get there. – Mike F.


3 Responses to “Don’t let the buyer beware”

  1. Melissa (Dorsey) McDowell Says:

    Today in the Nav Center we wound up supporting a customer going back to their own facility for an upcoming meeting, because the rest of their contacts don’t have the facilities to use our (brand new!!!) Hi-Def Teleconferencing system. That said, I’ll be working with the customer tomorrow to set up a WebEx, which they *do* have available, at their building even though they won’t use our facility.

    We see it as part of our mission to get the technology that is available into the hands of people who, in this case, already have it but aren’t benefiting from it. So, are we going too far with this customer?

    I think not – because in the end enabling the customer to take care of himself not only to I get the word out about our own services here at the NAV, but I ensure that we get the customer who needs us, while making sure at least one who doesn’t (right now) need our new system is still taken care of. It is in our interest to facilitate this because in the end it will make NASA more efficient and maybe send us some new business by word of mouth.

    That may not be true for every Org, but the question is, what is in it for the person providing the service. In the case of Facebook, they don’t WAN’T people signing up for multiple accounts. Do they know it happens? Probably. Is it worth their time to crack down? Probably not. The cost of alienating a bunch of users, who would certainly complain about it, would far exceed the cost to leave those accounts there.

    Customer Service is a matter of providing the best value for the customer that is in alignment with the interest of the provider. But, sometimes this means shifting a customer to some other provider that will better serve them. In this instance, everyone is happy because everyone had a say, and the customer decided. If the NAV charged for these services, the equation would change, making “lost business” less of an option for us, but a bigger savings for the customer.

    In a business environment, we are all each others’ internal customers, which opens up dialogues to a bit more frankness and a bit less formality. As long as everyone remembers to be professional this should not present a problem.

  2. mpfinneran Says:

    Sounds to this humble servant that you are doing the right thing Melissa.

  3. Karen Dempster Says:

    And if we can get business processes in the loop (such as procurement), I am open for any ideas from smart customers!!! Love seeing minds opened!

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