RTFM! (Read the flipping manual!)
If you're an employee of a company, it's essential to read the customer manual - even if you think you know everything there is to know about the product or services you offer.
During a recent How to control your elephant course, we discussed a scenario where the objective was to politely and empathically say “No” to a customer demanding that their natural shrinkage be attended to.
One of the delegates gave a superb answer in terms of delivery, but in terms of the content, the reasons given to the imaginary customer as to why the shrinkage would not be attended to bore little resemblance to what is written in this house builder’s homeowner manual.
In conversation, I discovered that this senior figure had never read the homeowner manual.
As you can probably imagine, it’s not the first time I’ve discovered this.
Many companies spend thousands of pounds creating user manuals and guides for customers. It's hard enough to get the customers to read them, but it's amazing how many front-line employees don't read them either.
When customers find themselves being told different things by employees and by what they've read in the manuals, it often leads to anger.
However, if employees are familiar with the contents of the manuals and can confidently quote from them, it encourages customers to use them too.
This makes the employees sound more authoritative and encourages customer confidence in the company's products and services.
After all, who wouldn't prefer to deal with someone who knows what they're talking about?
Reading the manual may seem like a mundane task, but it can make a real difference in the customer service experience. So next time you're faced with one, take a few minutes to read through it - you never know, it might just come in handy!
Do you have any other suggestions on how better to familiarise oneself with the contents of user manuals? Let us know in the comments below!