Fatal Sins of Customer Service

 

“Excellent customer service is the number one job in any company! It is the personality of the company and the reason customers come back. Without customers there is no company!” – Connie Edler

Excellent customer service is a holy grail for businesses. Brands struggle all the time to provide great customer service, we go above and beyond to make the customer happy, and yet we still see people unhappy with the service they receive. 

Customer Service isn’t rocket science, yet in its own way, I say it is. In a race to increase NPS® or CSAT score for a brand, we often forget the basics. What if the challenges you’re having are very simple? What if you could get rid of these problems easily? And what if I said if you got rid of them, it will eventually lead to happier customers. 

Here are a few fatal sins of customer service. Let’s just hope you aren’t committing one. 

 

Apathy

This should go without saying that you should never be rude to a customer. However, simply not caring about a customer’s problem is almost as bad. When a customer feels that an agent does not care about their issue, it makes them irritable. 

Understand, the only reason the customer has called you is that they have an issue that is causing them discomfort.

“Imagine your customer is your best friend—listen to their concerns, be a shoulder to lean on and then shift the focus from what went wrong to how you can help make it right.” – Rachel Hogue

 

Assumptions

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” – Henry Winkler 

To put it simply, look around yourself you will find scores of different personalities than yourself. Everyone has a different learning curve. Learn to give a benefit of the doubt to your customer that they know what they are doing, even if they don’t. A simple gesture of being patient goes a long way in this trade.  

 

Becoming a robot

Let’s face it! All of us have scripts, templates and canned responses to stay efficient. But customer service is so much more than just a bunch of templates. It’s an idea based on individuality. It’s about understanding the underlying emotion of your customer. It’s about showing your customer that they are important to you and making them feel welcome.

“You are serving a customer, not a life sentence. Learn how to enjoy your work.” Laurie Mcintosh 

 

Passing the buck

“A rose on time is more valuable than a $1000 gift that’s too late.” – Jim Rohn 

Some time ago I was dealing with a customer. The customer had applied for a credit card and was calling because the application wasn’t processed. The application had been canceled by the system as he was a foreign national, a long-time customer in his home country though. Before he spoke with me, he had been transferred 6 times and he just wanted help. Now in order to help him, it would take me more than an hour and the resolution was a little out of scope from my responsibilities. I discussed the matter with my peers and was asked to simply connect the customer to the team that handled operations for his home country. However, I went ahead and I helped him. It took me an hour and a half to help him get a resolution but every single second of it was worth it. Because that made him feel that people cared about his issues deeply and were willing to provide a better experience. It has been 3 years since that day and he has remained a loyal customer to date. 

 

Inflexibility

There is nothing wrong with a defined set of instructions or rules to adhere to. The problem arises when people treat them as their bible. Injecting a set of rules into every conversation is annoying. Try to do something out of your scope, go above and beyond. Remember, there are no traffic jams along the extra mile.

 

To sum it all up, don’t treat customer service as a job. It’s not a set of instructions that you read and start doing the same thing over and over again. Customer service is an attitude. It defines your personality. 

“ Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.” – Marian Wright Edelman

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