Do you think I am kidding? Hell no.
Choose your customer care promises very very wisely. As if your life and reputation depend upon them. Because they do.
If you leave a voice message that a service person will get back to you very soon, then be prepared to get back within 30 minutes tops. Or even better clearly define ‘soon’.
If your web site says 24/7 service, then that is what you deliver. And if you are for some odd reason unable to, then leave a message on the site, on your voice mail, and any other place that the customer may interact. There are no exceptions. (Perhaps acts of God that are registered in the public domain, like a Hurricane Katrina where the whole world knows about it may be forgiven. But only for a short time while until you get that message onto the site/voice mail with alternate access information.)
If you advertise a particular item then stock it. If it runs out be sure to tell the customer before they even consider sitting down, or entering the store.
Stop making promises you cannot keep. It really is incredibly simple. Under promise. Over deliver.
And if you fail at a promise, excuses do not cut it. Admit responsibility and then offer the earth. And then some. Because this is your one shot to redeem yourself and give yourselves a second chance. If you are very very lucky the customer will take it. But if not, you have lost not just one customer but all of those who they tell to avoid you like the plague.
It matters not a zilch what it says on your web site or in your customer service documents. It matters entirely what you do. This applies whether you are a one man band or a big company.
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