This radio program may be recorded for quality control. You may be asked to fill out a survey at the end of the broadcast. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Wait a minute. There must be a better way to improve service without monitoring calls and filling out surveys?
Magnini: There is certainly a survey overload in our society and that’s why it seems as if a lot of consumers are embracing blogs instead.
Vince Magnini is an associate professor of hospitality and tourism management at Virginia Tech.
Magnini: When you fill out a survey only company sees the survey. But when you post your blog online and other consumers can see it, it give you a sense of significance and that you’re helping other consumers make their decisions.
Vince Magnini says one of the ways for service organizations to stand out is to surprise their customers.
Magnini: So for example of the customer service agent could say, “well is it raining where you’re at today?”, and if and if they say yes and you could say, “well in that case you get a rainy day discount of 5% or 10%”.
Even over the phone, there are some companies who seem to really want to help you. But that’s not always the case.
Magnini: It is the company culture. Certain companies are known to have a culture of excellent customer service. If the management will do positive things to surprise employees then employees are more apt to do positive things to surprise customers. So walking around giving employees gift cards to a retailer or to a restaurant unexpectedly, or something of that nature.
There’s definitely a mirror effect and it’s always management that sets the tone. There’s no question about that. You could send me in as a customer service trainer in any poor organization and I would not be over to make a difference. But you can send me into an organization where the customer service is good and hopefully people after a day will learn one or two new pointers and it will go from good to better. But it’s the management that sets the tone.
OK, no survey. But why not visit our Facebook page and share your thoughts on how companies who do business over the phone could improve their service? I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.