I recently became a DirecTV customer after many years with Time Warner Cable. The divergent customer service experience that I encountered with these two companies reinforced a few lessons that I want to share with you.
It all started with a call to DirecTV to cancel my order due to a misunderstanding I had with AT&T regarding my internet service that was bundled with my DirecTV order. I was admittedly angry and had already told AT&T to jump in a lake.
Jeremy, the DirecTV customer service rep, was phenomenal. Upon reflecting on my call with him, I realized that he did six things to save the sale. How many of these steps do you employ on a regular basis when dealing with your customers?
#1 – He was upfront about his agenda for our call. He explained that his job was to make me happy and to retain my business.
#2 – He listened! I wrote an entire chapter in my book, The Termite Effect, about the power of listening. It really is a lost art.
#3 – He asked great questions.
#4 – He apologized for the treatment I received from AT&T despite the fact that he and DirecTV had nothing to do with it.
#5 – He identified what my biggest concern was and he repeated it back to me “here is what I hear you saying . . .”
#6 – He deliberately and patiently reminded me how great DirecTV’s service was and why I had originally subscribed.
After my great experience with DirecTV, I replayed the conversation I had with Time Warner Cable when I called to cancel my service. It was scripted, canned and tone deaf. After telling the representative that I was switching to DirecTV because they offered more channels and better tools (DVR) for LESS, the representative tried to upsell me additional channels, not once but TWICE! She eventually offered me a more competitive price but I was in no mood to consider it after her initial handling of my call.
Lesson for you and your business: Be upfront, listen, repeat what you hear your customers saying, ask questions, do not insult your customer’s intelligence and be sincere.
Side Note: On December 10, I will be presenting a continuing education class at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte called Great Customer Service: How to Become the Chick-Fil-A of Your Industry. Click on the link to learn more.