Do you remember the good old days of customer service?

13 July 2020

 

We don’t always realise it, but customer service plays a larger role than we anticipate in our everyday life. Whether it’s at the shops or over the phone, any form of ‘service’ is always much more pleasant and gives a positive feeling when done right.

 

No matter if it’s your first or fiftieth interaction, we often remember the customer service we were given more than the product or service we acquired in the process. This can especially be true today, where getting through to a customer service staff is sometimes harder than necessary.

 

Does the following process sound familiar to you?

 •  You wait on hold for what seems like hours.

 •  Someone answers the call, but you get passed from person to person.

 •  You’re told the relevant individual is unavailable and so you wait for a call back.

 •  Finally, by the end of the week, your issue is resolved (if you’re lucky!).

 

What happened to the good old days of customer service? The days when customers mattered, where you’d speak to a real person and weren’t left on hold for 30 minutes at a time?

 

Here's the four hallmarks of great customer service that you should look out for in every company.

 

Quick and efficient

We all know the struggle of calling customer service and having to wait so long that by the time you get past the cliched hold music and repetitive message of ‘all our staff are currently busy’, you’re so frustrated that you’ve probably forgotten what it was you were calling about to begin with. This also happens in-store, where the one time you actually need help finding something, it’s close to impossible to find someone to assist.


The way to a resolution should be easy for customers – they shouldn’t have to hunt around for someone to ask or call again and again to get an answer. It’s all about putting the customer first and trying to relate to them as much as possible.

 

Talking to a real person

It’s become an all-too-common part of life that we just expect to speak to robots when we call up our bank, our electricity provider or our telco. When did it become normal to suddenly be greeted by an electronic voice, asking you to “in a few words, explain the reason for your call”?


Most times you just want to talk to a real person, but all you get is a pestering chatbot on a website or a robot on the phone asking you to press different numbers as it attempts to direct you to the right department. People value human to human connections a lot more than the ‘convenience’ of robots.

 

Service with a smile

Perhaps one of the most overlooked parts of delivering great customer service is in the friendliness of the staff. Someone smiling at you, asking how you are and offering to help can sometimes mean the difference between buying something at that store or walking out before you even browse.


A helpful attitude and a positive approach can go a long way. Think about the last restaurant you went to, for instance – what stands out more, the food you ate or the way the waitstaff were attentive, timely and informative? People have long memories, so customer service needs to be done right the first time.

 

Empathy

One of the cornerstones of customer service should always be empathy. A good customer service experience will leave you with a sense of being understood and heard. That’s why it’s so important that organisations listen to their customers, whether they have a positive experience or a negative one to share, whether they’re asking a simple question or requiring help with a complex situation.


At Pennytel, we strive to provide great customer service every day. With low wait times, having 94% of customer queries resolved on their first call and the guarantee that you’ll speak to one of our friendly (human) team every time you call, that’s great customer service – the Pennytel way.

 

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“Great value, good communicators, faultless and fast service with coverage on the Telstra network. I would highly recommend Pennytel as an alternative telco provider to anyone wanting a better deal.”

 

Ross from ProductReview.com.au