A Simple Solution to Make Your Existing Customers Appreciate You More

20Jul07

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As a student paying my own way through college, I’ve had a very close working relationship with Sallie Mae over the past three years. I have always been quite satisfied with the company and its representatives whom I’ve found, without fail, to be really nice, patient and helpful. Today I was running downtown, dodging traffic on my way to a fun marketing assignment when I realized this would be the only good time to call the company and touch base with a representative on the status of my account. Calling in the middle of a work day, I thought for sure I would have to listen to at least 15 minutes of wait muzak. Instead, a strangely friendly and personable automated voice asked if I’d like for a representative to call me back when he/she was available so that I didn’t have to wait on hold. Perhaps this is common but I’ve never heard this offer presented before when calling in to a large company like this. The call back option meant that I could go about my day instead of “taking a number” and waiting my turn. A prompt 5 minutes after placing my call, a representative phoned back to answer my questions and help me manage my account. This call-back was a simple part of what I am sure is a quite complex customer management system but it really raised my oppinion of the brand. Still a full-time college student, I work 4 jobs (in part to pay for the loans I’ve taken out with Sallie Mae). This means working from 8am-2am every day so, believe me, having an extra 5 minutes in my day felt like a luxury that I will take into consideration when asked by my classmates to recommend a lender.

This system should be implemented as a part of any customer services offering.

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