One of the biggest factors missing today on most “Help Desks” is the Human Factor. We have become a text-to-text world, eliminating the need for human personal interaction. Face-to-face has become iPhone-to-iPhone. Even between siblings, parents, grandparents and friends. Thus we are breeding a society of faceless relationships. I have chosen to disengage from this practice as much as possible. And have made it a practice to CALL people (yes, a phone can still do that) as often as I can. And my conversations are generally very short, because I am not a talkative type of person. But, I am determined NOT to allow my relationships to suffer as a result of technology.
And every time that I come in contact with a “Help Desk” agent, whether it is for technical customer support, support on a Web Based Help Desk or CRM Software System, I am bound and determined to improve that person’s day by leaving them with a personal gesture of some kind that will leave them feeling better than before. Now this doesn’t always happen, but I can assure you, I generally get a more positive response.
Awhile back, I was trying to book a flight on SW Airlines. I was calling on the day of the 7 day advance, which is a day late by technical standards. The website, of course, would not allow me to book the flight without a huge penalty. So I decided to throw myself upon the mercy of the “Help Desk” agent over the phone. I began the conversation with, “I really need some help, and sincerely hope you can help me out.” Now most people are generally kind-heart, and want to help their neighbor. I mentioned my dilemma and offered up that it was my fault for not calling several hours before, but things had snowballed on my schedule, etc., etc.; The Help Desk support software agent for Southwest mentioned that she understood, that it happens to her sometimes as well. I mentioned that I realized in this type of job that they probably deal with these excuses all the time, thus I really felt for her having to deal with issues like this every day, etc.; we talked small talk for a few minutes on a personal level.
It was obvious that the customer service agent was sympathetic with my situation, but was going to follow procedure. I asked the agent if we might be able to make any exceptions by talking to a supervisor. She said, generally not, but would be happy to get one on the phone. After 4-5 minutes on hold, she came back and said that she had talked at some length with the supervisor and that the supervisor had approved an exception due to my special circumstances.
Now I know from years of flying with different airlines that most strictly follow the procedure, but I also know that if this agent and I had not spent enough time on the phone to build a repore that I would not have had any chance of getting an exception. (I also know that Southwest has built a reputation for customer service which is why I use them every chance I get.)
So, keep that in mind the next time you make or take a service request on your CRM Software System. Personal contact can make the difference between a positive post on a blog that actually touts your company, or mentions of exemplary customer service for years to come verses negative responses and ill feelings from customers that a simple phone call could have made the difference for.