07 December 2006

Customer service from a different angle

I am often amazed at how hard some businesses make it for people to deal with them. This is very well reflected in the use of over complicated, hard to use and impossible to understand paperwork. This is often the end result of paperwork and forms that have evolved over time. Things have been added but nothing has been removed and no-one has sat down and looked at ways to make the system better and ideally, run smoother and faster.

I recommend that everyone should review their forms and paperwork at least once a year. Make sure that it is simple to use – give a sample of your new layout to a friend who does not really understand your business and see if they can fill the form out easily. If they can’t how can your customers? Take out anything that is unnecessary or outdated and if you have to add anything keep it a minimum.

We all need to take a very active stance to reduce complicated paperwork. For a lot of people bad forms are enough of a reason not to buy a product. Imagine how people who have difficulty with reading and writing must feel when they are handed a 20 page application form.

Look at all of your business’ paperwork. Every single form should be reviewed and made better and easier to use periodically. Your customers will definitely appreciate it and so will your bottom line. Customer service is about a lot more than face to face interactions and smart, successful businesses make it easy for their customers to do business with them.

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