Handle the customer with care

Technology, as my colleague Isabelle Chan wrote the other day in ZDNet Asia's fortnightly SMB newsletter, has largely crept into and become a part of our lives.IT is so ingrained in our lives that you'd expect--even take for granted--systems that revolve around our daily lives to work seamlessly.

Technology, as my colleague Isabelle Chan wrote the other day in ZDNet Asia's fortnightly SMB newsletter, has largely crept into and become a part of our lives.

IT is so ingrained in our lives that you'd expect--even take for granted--systems that revolve around our daily lives to work seamlessly. And if they don't, users get frustrated when there is a disruption to their daily lives.

For businesses, there is not a more idiot-proof way to displease your customers than to withhold, whether intentionally or unwittingly, a service that they expect, if not demand.

But more importantly, if they do get upset, do you have the necessary resources and the standard operating procedures to manage unhappy customers? Or, are you not even sure if you have dissatisfied customers? Are IT-related businesses, or any other businesses for that matter, prepared to go the extra mile to resolve any 'grey issues'?

For instance, my auto credit top-up service for my subway card has failed to perform for a few months now. Each time, a few days after the amount gets credited, I'd embarrassingly be stopped at the gantries and be asked to pay the designated top-up amount on the spot. My attempts to resolve this problem suffered a set-back when both the subway card issuer and my credit card issuing bank implied over the phone that the other party was at fault.

In this case, I chose to pursue the matter despite the added inconveniences. But there will be other times when the customer does not make a fuss, but stops using the service altogether. That may not be a good thing for your business.

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