“I just ask that you talk to me before you get on an airplane.“
That quote is what I personally tell each of our customer service agents is the limit of their authority to serve our customers. Nearly every person that calls our company is not calling us because they woke up today and decided to use thickener with their beverages. They need to. They have to.
Swallow problems and dysphagia are usually side effects of an underlying medical issue. And we are honored to be able to help people when thickening will help them maintain oral consumption. But we recognize that it is an emotional and difficult time in their lives.
This is why we have built our customer service team to actually serve the customers. Our customer service is here to serve our customers. Not to be beholden to rules and approvals.
When you call during business hours, you will get a live person. Not a byzantine menu of choices and directions to our web site. Not a voice recognition service that can’t understand you. And we rarely have hold times. Every team member that answers a call will be knowledgeable and can answer nearly every question you ask. If they can’t, we will get back to you quickly.
If you have a problem, they can fix it. I trust them to make the right choice for the customer. It is far more important that we serve our customers and their needs than it is to make money on a single transaction.
Which brings me back to my opening quote: “I just ask that you talk to me before you get on an airplane.“
Why do I tell them that? It can be emotional when we have a customer that we have let down and they don’t have the product they need. I’ve been in moments like those - I personally remember shopping for plane tickets on a Saturday afternoon. In the heat of the moment, that seemed like the only option. Instead, I took a few minutes and talked with someone else. It calmed me down. I called the customer again and we worked out another option. Based on that experience, I simply want my customer service team members to take a moment and discuss options when the emotions are running high.
But someday, I suspect one of our employees will get on a plane and deliver product to a customer in need. Because that’s the right thing to do.