Ask Not What Your Customer Can Do for YOU…Ask What YOU Can Do For Your Customer!

So let’s face it, that isn’t exactly what John F. Kennedy said on that cold day in January during his inaugural speech, but it is the season and we couldn’t resist to take advantage of a compelling statement and adapt it to today’s digital age.

More and more when you call companies you get hung up in voice mail someplace only to find if you DO get to a HUMAN, often it is not the HUMAN you were looking for.  When you send an email to a company you get an “auto response”  that reads “Thank you for…” again no HUMAN.

How does that make you feel?  Does it make you feel like anyone cares if you spend your hard earned money to do business with that particular company?

Or if you ARE getting a HUMAN, are THEY telling YOU what the rules are in order to do business with them?

Especially when I am “out of my element” and not in my area of expertise, I feel very uneasy without SOME sort of personal contact.  I like to know I can trust the person and the company I am dealing with. I also like to know that this HUMAN listens to what I need and I am not getting talked down to, because they are smarter than me.  They may be smarter than me, but I have the money, right?

With Sephone being located in Bangor, Maine, we have a clientele of what is categorized as small business.  Even though our market reaches nationally we still work with primarily small to medium-sized businesses. Many of our customers don’t have dedicated IT personnel and even those that do, these folks are stretched thin.  Our customers come to us for our expertise in web design, hosting questions or online applications that allow them to work more efficiently as well as to save money.

This is not a process that can be handled by a website with an “auto-responder”, a voice mail tree, or a form that you fill out that has fields determined by a faceless company that never has actually listened to learn which problems you are trying to solve and what priority they may be in.

We are just like you. HUMANS. And we don’t tell you how it is, we ask you what your goals are and together we work through a process to get there.  Sometimes being a bit on the “geeky” side we don’t always understand things the way you say them. Sometimes we have to ask questions again, we want to make sure we are all on the same page.

That is not to say we don’t use automation, obviously we are in the web business and we use the tools that we build as well as reach out to those services that we don’t build when that makes sense.

Blogging is a way that we try to leverage “community intelligence” to solve a problem, get answers or just plain learn.  And this is a way that the world is going when it comes to Customer Service.  The Sephone Blog (where you are now reading this), is to share information with you, when it is convenient for you to view it.  Have a question about an application, datAvenger or SPAM, you may find it here in the blog.  If you DON’T see it here, please let us know as we are always working to give you the tools you need, when you need them.  (For me I need them at 3am and I am trying to update something!)  Email me personally at kelly.cotaux@sephone.com

Blogging maybe something that may make sense for your company, Blogs are FREE to set up and are very easy to use, let us know if we can help you with one that can help you give more accessible customer service to your customers.  I have a couple I read often that talk about customer service and how to effectively use the tools that are being used.  I liked this one at first because it is called The Church of the Customer!  The amusing title grabbed my attention and the content of the blog keeps me coming back.  Another blogger I like is Guy Kawasaki, his blog title, “How to Change the World” also has some good reading. Here is a post on his views on blogging and Customer Service. I also have a blog called Techno-Trapped In My 40’s that focuses on dealing with today’s technology with a 46 year old brain!

Please never think for one minute that any of the tools that we use are instead of great HUMAN TO HUMAN customer service, or that we think we are smarter than you.  We are in this together.  Thank you for trusting  us, because this IS what we do to support you so you can concentrate on your core competency and together we can help you meet your goals.

If any of these online solutions frustrate you, pick up the phone and we will answer it.