• Thor Muller

    About Thor Muller

    Thor is perhaps best known as the co-founder of Get Satisfaction, where he served as its original CEO (2007-2009) and later CTO (2009-2011).

    8 Comments

    1. Although it’s a little buried in this, I think you include the most important feature of a perfect customer service experience: talking to a person who knows exactly how to solve your problem. At the recent Adaptive Path MX Conference a speaker from Dell mentioned that they are bringing their phone customer service back to the U.S. because outsourcing proved to be a failure. I would argue that outsourcing isn’t the problem at all, it’s that outsourcing was part of a system that left the customer out in the cold.

      In the example of perfect customer service you give, you are calling the branch office where the same person always helps you. This is ideal but works in way that is unique to small to medium-sized organizations. Often large organizations fail to see the ways in which they can offer that same human touch.

      To me, the first step to achieving this is in the simple act of having a human being answer the phone. Two rings and hello from a real person. If I call my cell phone provider, for example, from my phone the call should be routed directly to someone who has all the information about my account in front of them and can greet me by name. If I call from a different number that isn’t on file I should still be able to talk to a person who is able to quickly route me to someone who can help solve my problem or answer my question.

      If this ends up as a good experience I won’t care that I called the other side of the world.

    2. Great point Sam. I’m always annoyed when people bad-mouth outsourcing because the CSR’s are in another country or don’t speak perfect US English. The real problem is that the CSR’s don’t have enough information or power, and that they’re usually disconnected from the rest of the organization.

    3. Instead of calling #8 “perfect” customer service (since 1, 2 or 4 might conceivably be perfect for certain businesses or within certain contexts), I would call your last one “integrated” customer service. This is a natural extension of integrated marketing, where campaigns flow seamlessly between magazine, web, television, etc. In this multi-channel world, customer service needs to be just as agile, contiguous and dependable.

      On a totally unrelated note, it’s nice to see some of my favorite smart people joining the customer service punditsphere. Additional suggestions for your blogroll: Seth Godin, Creating Passionate Users and Logic + Emotion

    4. Sounds so familiar. At the same time I got stuck in customer service jobs for 10 years. Thanks to my experience I now appreciate what they have to put up with. I think everyone should work in a customer service job for at least one year so they will be nicer (becasue they feel their pain) ;0)

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