How asking for help quickly can save you time and money
I had a nagging, annoying problem with my website. I spent 20 or 30 minutes trying to fix it one day and couldn’t. I then proceeded to get interrupted, ignore it and forget about it.
A few weeks later, the issue popped up again, and I’d had it. I momentarily thought about posting a rant in a blogger Facebook group (note: not the most productive or helpful solution to a problem). Or asking the FB group for help in how to fix it (note: more productive, but not ideal).
Instead, I had a crazy thought. What if I asked the technology provider for help? Crazy idea. Clearly, I’m not a big one on asking for help, but I’m learning. I had a few minutes, and I clicked the chat help with Siteground, my hosting company.
RELATED: How to get faster customer service
The associate quickly identified the problem and shared a link for the tutorial to fix it. That was fast and easy.
Then, before I could even say “Thanks,” he added, “But I’ve already fixed it for you.”
What?! Amazing. Why didn’t I do this weeks ago? Also, fixing the problem for me is way more than I expected based on the level of service I pay for. I was thrilled.
Then he commented again.
Naturally, fixing that unocovered another issue. Well, shoot. The customer service rep then sent me a screen shot of the problem and explained it (it went over my head). I asked what the solve was, again expecting to be sent a long how-to that would take me a chunk of time to sort out (especially on this one, when I didn’t even fully understand the problem!) Before I knew it, he had also fixed this problem for me.
Even more amazing!
In less time than it would have taken me to post a rant or complain about the issue on Facebook, the Siteground (affiliate link) customer service team had fixed the problem I knew I had – and fixed another I didn’t even know about.
I’ve written about the importance of customer service before, but it can’t be repeated too many times. Customer service can make or break a business.
RELATED: Why customer service is critical
As a businessperson: Surprise and delight your customers. Go above and beyond, especially when it doesn’t cost you, and you’ll create loyal customers. In this case, the customer service rep could have spent 5 minutes with me and left me to fix the problem on my own, but took another 5 minutes and fixed it himself. In so doing, he created a loyal customer at an insanely low cost to the company.
Don’t forget that your customers can be internal too. How to you respond to requests from those you work with? Is there something you can do easily to go above and beyond the initial ask that would take the requester a lot longer? Strategically doing this can build credibility, goodwill and relationships that have far-reaching impact on your work and your career.
As a customer: Don’t be shy about asking for help. I’m not naturally a person to ask questions, preferring to figure things out on my own. Instead I spent at least 30 minutes of my own time non-productively and then left a problem lingering for weeks. Since I’m not a website technical expert, I could have decided to ask for help much easier. At a minimum, I would have had clear instructions for fixing the problem! In this instance, don’t be me. Ask for help!
What can you do to go above and beyond today?