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Diary of a CEO - Part 8: Undercover Boss - Answering Phones

My Search for How to Truly “WOW” Our Clients

8-Part Blog Series by Omar Soliman, Founder and CEO of College Hunks

Part 8: Undercover Boss

I spent a few days answering the phones last week and talking to our clients directly. Here’s how it went, and here’s what I learned…

First, let me say It’s been a great journey for me, personally. All throughout this series, I’ve given you insight into what we do at College Hunks, how we do it, and, most importantly, why we do it.

In keeping with the theme of this “WOW” series, last week I tried something different. I wanted to step outside of my normal day-to-day tasks in an effort to really understand what our clients are saying. I figured, “What better way to understand what our clients are saying than to actually talk to them?”

So, I walked into the Client Loyalty Center and picked up a phone.

I sat there for hours over the course of a couple days, answering the phone. Some people wanted to schedule a service, others just wanted to compliment our guys in the field. And, naturally, a few of them were calling the help desk to have various issues or problems resolved.

Not too many, but let’s be honest, things happen, especially in a service-based company. The real test is whether or not the company makes it right (and believe me, our help desk is the best in the business at resolving those issues).

Anyway, I listened to them all.

I talked to people from all walks of life and in all sorts of situations.

By the end of the week, having spoken to so many different types of people with wide-ranging personalities and motives for calling, I learned a few things. Here are the two biggest things I gleaned from it all:

1. I have an even greater respect for our CLC than I already did. I love talking to our clients, but there are a million things going on behind the scenes in addition to the conversations they’re having. Trying to gather information while maneuvering the computer system and working together as a cohesive CLC team all at once isn’t easy, but our Client Loyalty Associates do a great job.

2. I gained an even better understanding of the voice of our clients. All too often, CEOs look at their clients like numbers and stats on a piece of paper. By talking to our clients, person to person, voice to voice, I reinforced what I already knew:Every client is a unique person with unique circumstances.

I talked to people from all over the country. Still, one phone call stuck out above all the rest.

Obviously, I won’t use her name on this blog, but she told me about some unfortunate events that led to her having to move out of her apartment. Without going into it too much, she had fallen on tough times and, though she didn’t want to move, she had to.

My heart went out to her. I could hear the worry in her voice. I felt awful for her and I wanted to help. Then, I realized I could.

I spent more time on that call than any of the other calls I took that day. I tried to comfort her and let her know it would be okay, even though the economy is pretty unpredictable right now. Still, the one thing I knew I could say with absolute certainty was that her experience with us would be 100% stress-free. I told her all about how our teams would be extremely gentle with her belongings and that she was in good hands with us.

She started to brighten up. We talked a while longer as I scheduled a free estimate for her, and by the end, she was feeling a little bit better.I could tell she was even smiling a little bit.

Now, obviously, that one phone call probably didn’t change her whole life. It did, however, make her day just a little bit better.

I figure, if the CLC made her day even just a little better that day, and then the HUNK team moving her belongings made the next day a little better, and then the HUNK who sent her a handwritten thank-you card afterward made that day a little better, then, well, that’s three days in a row where she smiled a little more. It might not seem like a lot, but a string of good days is a start.

They say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. My hope is that the journey of a thousand smiles begins with a single phone call.

That’s how we’re going to move the world.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to talk to you again soon!