When was the last time that you received amazing customer service?
If you are like most people it is so rare that it really stands out in your mind.
When we poll our clients about solid (let’s forget about amazing) customer service we get the same answers every time; Disney, Apple, Southwest Airlines, and sometimes Zappos. That our clients have difficulty identifying any other examples is a sad refelection on how low standards are these days when it comes to meeting customer expectations.
But what is great customer service?
Too often we make a fundamental error when it comes to customer service: We assume that everyone defines it the same way. This causes most customer service training to be ineffective at best – and at worst – downright frustrating to many front line employees.
Now, I can hear what you are thinking. What the heck? Of course everyone defines it the same way.
OK, let’s try a little experiment. I am going to prove to you (without a shadow of a doubt) that not only do people define customer service differently, but that people at your own company define it differently. To make things even worse, the conventional wisdom of how to improve customer service often makes things even worse!
Here is what I want you to do. Rank the following words in order of importance to you as a customer:
While all these terms apply to a customer service interaction, some will definitely be more important to you.
Now take the same list and give it to somebody that you know sees the world slightly differently than you.
What happened? Did they rank the list differently?
Not only was the ranking likely very different, even the way they will ‘define’ some of the terms will be different. For example, some individuals will interpret a customer service agent being very direct and to the point as ‘respectful’ of their time, while others would be focused on the tone of voice and whether the customer service agent was making them feel like they were not rushed as ‘respectful’.
So perhaps the next time you experience ‘poor customer service’ the issue may be as much with a conflict of what the term means as it is a lack of desire to serve you well.
We believe that improving customer service is a science not an art. However in order to make it a science, you have to use science as the basis of improving it. Check back here frequently for more tips on how to make your customer service training (and coaching) as effective as it can possibly be.
In order to help you achieve your customer service goals, we have a number of resources available. The 4 Faces of Frustration Workshop is designed to assist you in radically shifting the level of customer service you consistently provide! Visit us today at 4 Faces of Frustration Workshop.