The Essence of Simple Customer Service
As an editor, I make a number of phone calls each day. I also send a great deal of email. Sometimes it feels like those emails go into a black hole and no one hears their voice mail or reads their email. I understand that feeling isn't real but it seems that way from the lack of response.
This week I had several authors respond to my calls and emails in a refreshing way. Everyone is busy. We go on vacation and special outings with our family. We step away from our offices or have some sort of family crisis. Those situations are understandable.
One of my authors sent an email saying they were out of town but would get back to me next week. Another author emailed that she received my message and was going to respond early next week. These authors sent short emails but let me know they received my message and were going to be responding to it soon. Can you respond in this way to let the other person know you received their call or email? To me, it is simple customer service yet important communication.
Recently I interviewed Rick Frishman, publisher at Morgan James. You can hear our interview and have immediate access to the replay. For many years, Rick ran one of the largest public relations companies in the U.S. based in New York City called Planned Television Arts (now called Media Connect). During the call, Rick pointed out that he answers his own email and returns his phone calls. He doesn't have an assistant or someone else to do it, he does it. I identified with what he was saying because I handle it the same way. I return my phone calls and emails. Like Rick, I do not have an assistant handle returning calls or email. I personally do it.
From my experience, the higher up the chain of command that you reach, often the quicker the response. Leaders and executives understand the importance of good communication. The response is often not long and maybe even be a few words—but you hear from the person almost right away.
The essence of simple customer service is to return calls and respond to emails. It's almost a lost art in our world—but if you practice it, you will stand out and be the exception—and noticed.
What actions in returning calls and answering your emails can you take today?