Customer Service is a GOLD MINE FOR INFORMATION ON HOW TO MAKE YOUR PRODUCTS LESS CONFUSING, EASIER TO UNDERSTAND AND USE, FIND NEW PROSPECT, AND EVEN NEW PRODUCTS!Most companies seem to regard customer service just as part of delivering the product. Some at least sell parts this way on products which are out of warranty. But many companies just seem to regard it as an added burden to be delivered as cheaply as possible. They too often farm this work overseas were customer service reps just read from scripts. The "customer service reps" often hardly know the product and most certainly do not know them well enough to be able to easily spot areas that could possibly be improved and even if they did they do not know whom to route the requested improvement to.
Customer service should not be looked at as just delivery but as correction. IT IS A GOLD MINE FOR INFORMATION ON HOW TO MAKE YOUR PRODUCTS LESS CONFUSING, EASIER TO UNDERSTAND AND USE, FIND NEW PROSPECT, AND EVEN NEW PRODUCTS!
Yes a few customers will call just because they are totally confused. (Often: out basics- their schooling needs correction.) But most call only because something was not clear enough etc. in the manual or web site etc.
Here is an example:
Paypal sends me an email about a transaction but the email just sent me to the Paypal home page and there is no more information on what to do from there in the email.
EXASPERATED I HAD TO CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE.
In this case customer service hopefully wrote to the department that originated the communication so they could improve it.
The ideal communication would fully communicate the concepts customers need to know. This could enable a customer to purchase or use your products.
If you understand why customers do not always duplicate your communication you can see how to improve it. A lot of this is covered in the Basic Study Manual we sell at: http://www.elearnaid.com/bastmas.html
It covers such things as why people go blank when they read your writing and what to do about it.
What to do if they look totally confused and what to do if they look bored and exasperated.
Knowing this data and observing people read manuals, ad copy etc can help you find what to improve so you have interested customers who understand what you are trying to communicate.
There are two benefits to improving your product quality. One a customer of an easy to use product is much more likely to buy from you again. Most customers really do not like having to spend their time on the phone with customer service
But this also lowers you cost of customer service and if this is done well enough the reps will have even more time to make sure that the products are fixed. For example I once worked as the customer service manager for a software company that had very unreliable software. We got the products improved two ways: improving the testing before the software went to the customer and by getting things fixed rapidly when problems did make it to the customers. This included improving help messages and manuals. As a result the dollar value of the software support contracts increased 10x yet the number of people in support hardly changed. In fact customer support became the primary source of revenue for the company and very profitable!
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ReferencesGood business principles, well implemented, should make a business grow and prosper. Here are several references that we have found helpful.