Lip Service To Customer Service + Lack of Investment = Frustrated Customers

Lip Service To Customer Service + Lack of Investment = Frustrated Customers

No doubt you’ve heard the litany repeated over and over again. It’s all about customer service. You have to amaze the customer. You need to be faster than a speeding bullet. Go above and beyond the call of duty. You’ve heard many of the slogans trucked out by managers and executives, pundits and consultants.

In a sense they are right. In a world where it’s hard to compete on price, the service offered to the customer becomes a critical aspect of whether the customer returns, or at least, so it would seem.

The problem is that while companies push their employees to be better and better through exhortations, they usually look at customer service as an overhead COST, rather than an investment. When budget decisions are made, what happens?

In retail, companies reduce the number of people on the floor so when it gets busy, it’s impossible for floor staff to do their jobs and serve customers quickly. Stores get messy, items are mispriced or lacking prices.

In terms of customer support, companies replace personal service with automated service (such as call centers, use of social media, etc), with the outcome that customers end up having to wait longer to be served if they need help or have a problem.

The people who have the power and authority (supervisors, managers) to help customers and solve problems are often, themselves overworked, so it can take some time for them to respond to a customer’s phone message or email. The “underlings” are not allowed to make decisions beyond basic workaday fixes. It’s not uncommon for employees who need authorization from a manager to not be able to find one quickly.

The outcome is obvious. Customers end up more frustrated and ready to jump down the throats of anyone working for the company. Worse yet, most companies act in this manner so the customer feels trapped. Psychologically that is never good. Frustrated, trapped people tend to be much more aggressive.

The other outcome is that employees get frustrated too, since they are often asked to do things that are nigh near impossible when the customer flow increases past a particular level. That means employees are more volatile and impatient too.

Keypoint For Dealing With Frustrated Customers?

It’s not going to get better. If anything you will encounter more unpleasant behavior from customers because much is caused by the systems we work in, that are not very effective. Moral? You have two choices. Get out of customer service, or learn the skills to deal with these situations, and reduce your stress levels.

This excerpt is from If It Wasn’t For The Customers I’d Really Like This Job: Stop Angry, Hostile Customers COLD While Remaining Professional, Stress Free, Efficient and Cool As A Cucumber By Robert Bacal

Don’t go away, there’s lots more information, hints and tips from this book. To go straight to the index, click here

Author: Robert Bacal

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