Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Are you wasting your time waiting?

It is not that you don’t have a busy enough life. You work, you have family and friends that need attention. However busy you may be, at some point everything comes to a screeching halt — your cable has stopped working. You now find yourself at the mercy of the cable company.

“We can have a repair person to your home between 8-12 tomorrow.” You have no choice but to stay put. You think to yourself, “Well maybe I can just run to the store to grab some milk”, but then you remember the last time you did that the repair person came and went and you had to start all over again. To make matters worse, the cable repair person ends up running late. At 12:15 you call the cable company and learn that they will be there within an hour. You have now wasted more than half a day.

You have most likely experienced a similar scenario. Why can’t there be a simple way to solve this problem and set us free?

As it turns out, there is a solution. Yuval Brisker, co-founder of TOA Technologies, experienced the same problem, but luckily for us, he figured out how to solve it. Brisker — a true renaissance man — designed a predictive web-based system, ETAdirect solution, that benefits both the customer and the company that uses it
As a customer, you will no longer be tied to your home waiting. Through text messages, automated voice call, email and/or online tracking, you will be informed when the repair person will arrive.

Generally, you the customer, will be “on call” for a two hour window. You let the company know your preferred mode of contact, and will be told when to expect the repai person within a one hour window.

For the company, TOA’s ETAdirect system helps manage a mobile workforce with planning and routing and dispatch and scheduling. Furthermore, it can help retain customers through better customer service.

One of my favorite features of the system is that it will offer to reschedule an appointment if the customer is not able to keep it. Too many companies neglect to reschedule their customer’s appointments. This simple step is good for the company and the customer.

I don’t know about you, but I sure want my cable company, phone company, plumber, etc to get this! (You know who you are!)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Customers like to be remembered

Last week I was working in Orlando. I was staying at the Disney Contemporary Resort. Of course I am aware that Disney prides itself on superior customer service, so my expectations were pretty high. Even with those high expectations I still found myself amazed by a specific event.

After my class was finished I walked up to the reservation counter for the California Grill. Apparently it is a very popular restaurant so reservations are not easy to get. I was dining by myself so I thought I would check to see if I could eat later. A lovely woman behind the desk greeted me and told me that there should be no problem. It was a short unremarkable encounter and I walked away.

Later that night, after changing into more comfortable clothes, I decided to try and eat at the California Grill. I had no problem getting in (even though the place was packed.)

I was enjoying my meal at the sushi bar (the food was amazing,) when the woman who greeted me walked up to me and said “Wow, I am so glad you decided to come back.”

This blew me away. As I said, we had an unremarkable conversation, it lasted only seconds and I wasn’t even wearing the same clothes. But Ashley Call, the restaurants Guest Service Manager remembered me. And by the simple act of remembering me and telling me she was glad I came back she transformed my evening.

I felt important. I felt valued. I felt appreciated. She took a good evening and made it great. I eat at a lot of good restaurants, but I would go out of my way to go back to this one because of Call and her staff.

Call told me her goal was to make sure every guest leaves happy.

What do you do to make sure every customer leaves happy? How do you make your customer feel important, valued and appreciated?

Try doing something today to transform your customer’s experience.