Last week, following months of negligence and little precipitation, Old Man Winter decided to pay attention. "Wow!" he yelled, "It's March already? I forgot to snow all winter long. The last time I really snowed hard was before Halloween — too early, actually. I better put in a good showing, maybe dump several inches of the white stuff on New England—you know, now that it's spring."
That was OK, however, because the power remained on; at no point did the lights go out. The shoveling and everything else is tolerable, but when snow causes the power to go out, well, that's when hardy Northeasterners start to question the sanity of living in New England.
Fast-forward to this week. The weather has been lovely, with temperatures flirting with 70 degrees. The sun has shone nearly nonstop. And early Tuesday evening, against the backdrop of perfect weather, the power went out.
Customer Service Is Everything — Especially During Power Outages
We called the power company….and spent the next several minutes cursing at a byzantine voice recognition system excruciating in its inhumanness; in fact, in our quest to report the power outage, at no point did we encounter a live human. For the duration of the call, the only humans present were on our end of the phone. That's bad customer service. We don't really like our power company anymore.
Discouraged, but undeterred, your #HRTechChat host proceeded to hop into his Jeep and search for downed wires. At an intersection with a main road, an EMT worker was directing traffic to take a detour around what appeared to be a major car accident. Rolling down his window, your host asked the harried rescue guy whether or not the accident had knocked out power. Despite being distracted, the first responder replied, pleasantly, "Yeah, they took down a pole. It's probably going to be a while."
That was good customer service, dealt to someone who wasn't even a customer, technically. It left your host feeling good, and although today's power outage further delayed posting of this, the #HRTechChat Episode Ten Preview, at least the story underscored the need to keep customers happy.
How Will They Treat Their Customers?
"Do it for the children," they say. Well, yes, by all means, do it for the children. But we say, "Do it for the customers — and know the difference."
Technology companies in the HCM space have been doing things for a slew of reasons lately. Will they remember their customers? How will they treat their customers, like adults or like children? Customers spend money. They demand respect, deserve it, and expect to have input and to help drive innovation. As reported by Software Advice, evidence is emerging that some companies making moves in the marketplace for HCM are putting their constituencies and stakeholders first. But plenty of companies drop the ball in this regard. Who will do so this time?
#HRTechChat Episode Ten Is on Wednesday, 3/14, @ 4pm ET / 1pm PT
Please drop by for this week's special #HRTechChat, our tenth. Flanked by his co-hosts–at-large Meghan M. Biro and Sean Charles, HRO Today Contributor Brent Skinner will co-lead a discussion looking at customer service in HR, recruiting and talent management technology. Today, customer satisfaction is extra important. We'll explore the need for companies, as they merge, acquire and innovate, to tend to customers and their levels of satisfaction. It's the only way customers will stay.
Following are questions we'll discuss at 4pm ET / 1pm PT on Wednesday, March 14:
- Q1: Where within the HCM technology suite are customers least satisfied today, and why? #HRTechChat
- Q2: What are some apt things you've witnessed vendors doing to serve their customers? #HRTechChat
- Q3: Where in today's HCM technologies marketplace do you see a big danger of customers losing out? Why? #HRTechChat
- Q4: When are innovations in HCM technologies good for customers? When aren't they? #HRTechChat
- Q5: No matter what area of HCM technology, what are the top three things that best address customer satisfaction? #HRTechChat
- BONUS CONVERSATION: Do you have an amusing example of a customer service #epicfail in #hrtech? Please share. #HRTechChat