In a recent Inc.com contributing article, entrepreneuer Ron Burley talked about his experience taking the time to listen to a customer complaint over the phone and work through the issue. Later, Burley's software company took a $4 million order – all thanks to that one customer.
In Burley's early CEO days, he was very hands on and told his 16 employees to feel free to give out his personal number if they encountered a customer issue that they just couldn't solve on their own. He received a call once at 2 a.m. on a Sunday, and immediately knew it was from Bob, the owner of a small radio station in Southern Illinois.
Bob had never before used a computer, and as such in Burley's mind, was bound to have more difficulty in properly operating the software, not through a faulty product, just consumer error. Burley though, spent two hours on the phone with his customer, and walked him through how to configure the startup options for Microsoft Windows.
Six months later, Burley received a call from a major media company that had decided to standardize his software across their 300 radio stations. The business had not been pursued by Burley, in fact, he knew that they had been planning to work with a competitor. However, when the media company bought Bob's station – and he stayed on as a consulting engineer – Bob was quick to remember the small startup that took the time to listen to his problem and work with him to a solution.
While not every phone call could lead to such changes, every customer issue should be treated as such. With the aid of an answering service, no individual would be ignored or have their complaint taken lightly. Customer service is always a top priority with these professionals, who are trained to ensure that every call, email or text message receives a response.