At PhaseWare’s Global HQ, the coffee maker is in Hoyt’s office. As a result, I often find myself engaged in random conversation while waiting on a cup of coffee. Today, as sometimes happens, we casually talked our way into a topic relevant to work. In talking about our kids, their teachers, Hoyt’s wife, and my mother; we stumbled upon a theme. Essentially, how much people care about what they’re doing really makes a difference.
As a customer, it’s hard not to notice when the person helping you really cares. Outside of customer service metrics and call center scripts and ABC troubleshooting; when someone really cares about helping solve your problem, it shows.
My mother, known as Melanie Smith to the rest of the world, is a customer service true believer. Since 1994, she has worked for Lindora Clinic (www.lindora.com), a Southern California-based company offering a personalized weight management program through its brick-and-mortar clinics as well as its online clinic.
For the past six years, Mom has worked as an online and phone coach through the virtual clinic, providing training, advice, and general support to her clients across the country. Many of these clients are faced with severe health consequences due to their weight, and some need to lose hundreds of pounds. Unlike many of the pop-diets we see come and go every year, the Lindora program doesn’t offer a quick or easy path to weight loss, it offers a long-term lifestyle change resulting in weight loss and general wellness.
Under these circumstances, Mom’s commitment to great customer service becomes even more important. What her clients are going through is tremendously hard. They get frustrated, they give up, they doubt her expertise, they push back, and many of them fail. The need for knowledge, attention to detail, and a superb bedside manner are necessary to help keep people on track.
Over the past several years, I’ve overheard many of her client calls. Well, I’ve heard one side of the conversation anyway. But, through all of her clients’ struggles and doubts, Mom remains stridently optimistic, endlessly helpful, and she always stays positive. It’s clear to see how much she really cares.
Having successfully worked the program herself, she knows it works. She believes in it. Additionally, she knows the program back-and-forth, participates in ongoing training through Lindora, and continually reads additional material of her own accord. So, when it comes to her clients, she’s always prepared, always helpful, and always hopeful.
And, honestly, it’s not just about doing her job well. She cares about helping people change their lives for the better. She cares about their success, and it shows.
Of course, we don’t all have the opportunity to change people’s lives when we go to work every day. BUTâ€¦that doesn’t mean we can’t all give a little extra care and attention. Perhaps we won’t change lives, but we can make one part of our customers’ day a whole lot easier.
Actually, it’s something I witness here at PhaseWare on a daily basis. I sit next to Support Services Manager Gary Ray, and hear him skillfully, patiently helping our customers through whatever challenge they’re facing. Some issues are more complex than others, some issues are more difficult to explain, and still others require a deeper look.
Regardless, Gary handles simple support solutions and escalations with the same even hand. He cares about helping our customers work through their support issues, and it shows. And aside from the technical side of customer support at PhaseWare, I often hear Gary opening a ticket with a personal discussion on cycling, the upcoming weekend, or whatever other personal topic the customer throws his way. His patience and interest in each customer are perhaps softer examples of caring about the customer, but it’s still a critical part of the customer experience at PhaseWare.
Now, as much as I like Gary, I still prefer my Mom. Either way, we can all learn a little something from how they go about customer service. Take your time, be prepared, and understand the customer’s point-of-view. Just a little bit of care goes a long way.