Mike Bindrup shares his experience with two very different service providers and reflects on the importance of customer touch points.
Last week my washing machine broke down right in the middle of a load, and I needed to call a repair service. I googled appliance repair and up came a list of a dozen companies in my area.
I clicked on the first one that looked promising and visited their website.
Their website was cleanly designed and effective. I was pleased to see that they listed that they worked on LG front-loading washing machines and I felt comfortable that they could solve my problem.
Wanting to get this fixed right away, I placed the call to them and got the following recorded message: “We are not accepting service calls right now” then it hung up on me. There was no “leave a message at the beep” or anything else.
It seemed as though they were out of business. I thought they should at least take down their website if they were not in business anymore.
I clicked on the next repair service that had a website. Now I use the term website loosely because it only had two pages.
One of the pages was a home page where they listed their services and contact info. It was very basic and not well designed. The other page contained a coupon that you could print to save $10 off your service. I liked that, so I printed the coupon and called the number listed on the site.
This time my experience was very different. I got an actual person on the line and was able to explain to her the problem with my washing machine.
She quickly took down my information and said that she had a technician in the field and he would call me back to schedule a time most convenient for me to have them to come and look at my washing machine.
Within 10 minutes, I received a call from an appliance technician who verified my address and set a time that evening for the service call. The service tech kept his word and arrived on time at my home for the service call.
What was the difference in these two service experiences? One of these businesses got my money because of positive experiences with their touch points.
A touch point is any point of direct interaction between a stakeholder and a business. In this case, I experienced 4 touch points: the website, the initial phone contact, the phone contact with the tech, and the actual service call with the tech. All of these were positive which makes me a happy customer.
How does your business touch your customers, potential customers, employees, vendors, etc? How do you treat you customers at these touch points?
Do you make them feel welcome, assured, and confident that they are doing business with an honorable and competent firm, or do you make it difficult for them to do business with you?
How you design your touch points makes all the difference in keeping customers happy and willing to refer other business to you. No amount of money you spend on your marketing efforts can help if your customer service touch points fail you.
By the way, the company that I called first is actually still in business. For how long is anyone’s guess.
About the Author
Michael Bindrup currently works as a Business Development Advisor for the UNLV Nevada Small Business Development Center in Las Vegas.