I received this customer service story from a member of a local organization here in Houston, Tx . This member volunteers as a liaison between new members and the organization. She received a phone call from a new member regarding the location for an organizational committee meeting. It appears that the new member was at the wrong location. The liaison member conferenced the new member to the organization’s phone number in an attempt to get the correct meeting location. When the new member advised the organization’s receptionist of her dilemma, the receptionist asked “Where did you get that information?”. The new member advised the receptionist that the information was retrieved from the organization’s website. The receptionist then asked “When did you get the information?” to which the new member responded “A few days ago.” The receptionist responded “Well that’s the wrong information.” The new member already knew this! The receptionist then stated ‘We only update the information on the website once a month!” The liaison member was still on the line and interjected at this point with the question “Wait a minute. Are you saying you knew the information was wrong on the website, but you didn’t update it?” The receptionist again stated “We only update the website once a month.” She then proceeded to provide the correct meeting address in such a rapid manner that the new member had to ask for the address to be repeated. The call ended without an apology to the new member for the error and the inconvenience.
It’s important to correct errors on your website quickly as your customers can view the site twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Your customer is depending upon you for the correct information. On another note, the most important step to take when a customer is inconvenienced through no fault of their own is to apologize. The receptionist acted as though the new member was responsible for being at the wrong place. To go a step further, the organization should send a card entitled Oooops! Add a few lines offering an apology for the error and perhaps include an inexpensive gift certificate for good measure. Remember, the customer acts upon provided information. Make sure the information on your website is current. Oh yeah, make sure your customer contact personnel have some basic customer service skills!