Do you ever assume a level of knowledge on the part of your customer?
The company I use to distribute my books has outstanding, global distribution. Their website and customer service, however, are as bad as their distribution is good.
Don’t Assume a Level of Knowledge
I needed to update one of my books with some new information. I went to their website and couldn’t figure out how to do what I needed to do, so I started a chat session. The agent on the chat session told me what to do, but didn’t tell me where to find it on their website. I asked him to direct me to the right place on their site and it took three tries before he explained clearly where I needed to go.
Make Sure You Know Your Products Well
Then, I asked another question, related to the first, and he told me to choose a particular option after entering some information. The option he described wasn’t available. The chat session continued in this manner until I was finally able to get everything taken care of. What should have taken five minutes took 20 minutes because he was assuming I was intimately familiar with his company’s website. He made an assumption about my level of knowledge about his company’s website.
I was trying to find a way to do something with my smartphone. I finally found a blog post that told me what tool to use to get it done, but it didn’t tell me where to find that particular tool. I had to search to find that tool. It was a minor inconvenience and only slightly annoying. It could have been avoided if the author of the blog post would have explained not only what tool I needed, but where to find it.
A successful customer service experience includes explicit instructions of each step required and assumes no level of knowledge on the part of the customer. If you’re on the phone or in-person, you can ask the customer how explicit they need you to be. In chat or email, provide explicit, step-by-step instructions. It will save time and avoid frustration. That leads to a more positive experience for you and your customer.
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