It was midnight and after 15 hours of delays, cancelled flights, and customer service lines, I had finally reached my destination. I reflected on the day and the examples of good and bad customer service. Associations, chambers, and other nonprofits interact with a number of “customers” on a daily basis. Whether these customers are members, sponsors, volunteers, government officials, or the media, your organization’s customer service is incredibly important. Here are a couple examples of good and bad customer service from my recent travel experience that you can apply to your organization.
- After my flight was cancelled, one airline employee told the passengers that a shuttle bus would be available. Later another employee from the same airline said no such shuttle existed.
- The takeaway: Make sure your team is on the same page and communicating a consistent message. Additionally, every member of your staff should know your organization’s customer service expectations.
- I witnessed a customer service representative argue with another customer and eventually rip up the customer’s boarding pass.
- The takeaway: Providing good customer service when a customer is angry can be difficult. It’s important to listen to the customer’s perspective and to keep your cool. If necessary, take a step back from the situation and ask a supervisor for direction.
- During the hour my plane sat on the runway, our pilots repeatedly announced the status of our flight in a cheerful, but honest way.
- The takeaway: Communication is key to customer service, but the tone of what is said and the frequency of the communication is equally important. Be proactive in giving updates and be sure to always be honest.
- After my flight was cancelled, the airline automatically rebooked me on the next available flight.
- The takeaway: People know issues and mistakes happen. The test of great customer service is your ability to remedy the issue or mistake. Take responsibility and then clearly communicate the solution as soon as possible.
Just like airlines, associations, chambers, and other nonprofit organizations win and lose customers every day due to customer service experiences. Be sure your organization is making a conscious effort to better serve your customers.