I was chatting with a friend today about poor customer service. We all know it when we see it, and we’ve all had it. I mentioned that at my vision center if I called to order something and a certain sales rep answered, I’d just hangup and try again later. And if he was working when I walked in, I’d turn around and come back later. It was that bad. One time while he was “helping” me he answered the phone and then spent the next 10 minutes helping that person and leaving me hanging. Which brings up the question: who’s your priority?
The Client in Front of You
This is the priority. The person you’re talking to in real life deserves your undivided attention. Now, if you work in a location and you need to answer the phones (like at a vision center) do it quickly and call that person back. But better yet, send it to voicemail. The person in front of you is the person most likely to give you their money if they haven’t already. And if they HAVE, don’t touch that phone or email, this person deserves your undivided attention.
The Person on the Phone
If they can’t get off their butt and come to you then they can wait. Now, if you work in a situation like me where people don’t come to my office, then the phone caller is the top priority right? YES. If I don’t recognize a phone number I won’t usually answer it. It can go to voicemail and I’ll call them back when I have a minute. But I will call them back, or take care of any request they leave for me.
The Person in your Inbox
You should respond to emails within 1 business day if you ask me (and I know you wish you hadn’t). When I get to my desk in the morning I do a quick run through my emails to see what clients I need to work on for the day, and clean out all the other “stuff,” (newsletters, spam, meetings, personal stuff) quickly so I can focus on the clients who need me. Figure out how to prioritize your inbox. If it’s an emergency they’ll usually call or show up.