Why Customer Service Counts

When was the last time you had great customer service, at any business, where it was so good you had to tell your friends and maybe you even flagged down the manager to alert them? If you’re like most of us, you really have to think about it.

Here are some interesting stats from American Express:
– More than half of Americans have scrapped a planned purchase or transaction because of bad service.
– 33% of Americans say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service.
– Americans tell an average of 15 people about a poor service experience, versus the 11 people they’ll tell about a good experience.

And here’s an even more important stat from NewvoiceMedia.com:
– U.S. companies lose more than $62 billion annually due to poor customer service.

Great customer service is a huge opportunity for radio, or as they say, low-hanging fruit.

I worked at a cluster where we gave the receptionist so much respect and authority that her title was Director of First Impressions. She is the first person a listener or client meets when entering the stations and she takes it seriously to this day. It may be giving listeners a quick tour, or having one of the talent meeting the listener and taking a selfie, or taking the listener into the production room to record a testimonial, or taking their picture with their prize and posting it on the station’s social pages and website.

She understands the importance of leaving that consumer with a positive experience to turn them into a super fan and station ambassador. She understands they fought traffic or had to take the subway to make their way to the station, and has empathy making sure they get their prize or whatever they came for. She is excellent at turning a listener complaint into a positive.

Radio stations have many opportunities for touch-points with our listeners and must take advantage of them in a positive way. When a station is doing a live remote or appearance, it should be a SHOW! Bright, clean, and sharp banners, vehicles, and street team. A PA system playing the station’s music, a selfie booth or some way to interact with the listener, iPads or tablets where listeners can join the station database, and some kind of useful swag. Maybe swag as simple as a computer sticker.

I won’t name names but I have seen a radio station remote or two where there is a crooked banner, dirty vehicle, uninspired promotional people sitting at the table…not very inviting.

I often say, what would a Google, Facebook, or Amazon display look like?

Social media and the station website are also easy touch-points for customer service.  When listeners comment on social, text, or email they should get a response. Good customer service is a prompt response.

Another touch-point is the old-school request line. Even though the volume of calls is down, especially with younger listeners, they still need to be answered. The same with the main station line.

During shifts that are automated or voice-tracked with no live body, there needs to be an auto reply message. Nothing is more frustrating as a consumer than the phone ringing and ringing with no answer.

And lastly, everyone at the station is an ambassador, not just the talent. Every person you come in contact with is a potential client or listener….and you never know where those meters are. As difficult as it is, talent are recognizable and always need to be ON. For the rest of the staff, any time you’re wearing station gear at a station event or in a station vehicle you are also ON.

One last thing: this even goes for Millennials. According to American Express, as a group, Millennials are willing to spend the most (21% additional!) for great customer care.

Good customer service leading to customer satisfaction needs to be SOP, a way to differentiate yourself from the competition at no cost.

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