Stuart and I were watching the CBS program, “Sunday Morning” and there was a piece by Bill Flanagan called, “No Problem.” You will find the video link at the end of this blog and it’s worth your time. Anyway, this story made me think of my pet peeves regarding the level of customer service I see being offered at the businesses I frequent these days. I like to say that no matter what business we are in, we are all in the business of customer service. And, that’s true, but let’s face it, some businesses are more customer-facing than others.
As a seasoned, more like well done, customer service professional there are so many things that make me crazy when it comes to things people in customer service say or do. Or, sometimes even more importantly, don’t say or do.
My first pet peeve is not being acknowledged when I walk up to a desk or counter at an establishment. Even if the person is speaking to someone on the phone at the time or with another customer, they should give eye contact and a smile to the new customer. This lets the customer know they are aware of them at the least. In addition, there should be some indication from the customer service person that they will be with this customer as soon as they are able. Along with the eye contact and smile there should be some sort of physical queue to indicate “I’ll be with you just as soon as I can.” This can be done verbally or just that smile along with an upright index finger that indicates they will be just another minute or so.
The second thing that gets under my skin is when there is no greeting or no, “Thank you for waiting, how may I help you today?” Just staring at the customer like, “what’s up?” doesn’t cut it.
Another failing I see is when the customer is told, “no” or any of the following, “we can’t do that”, “we don’t do that” and so forth. Now, while it may very well be true that the organization cannot fulfill a particular request, there is always something that can be offered instead. Instead of saying no, they should be saying, “Actually what I can do is…….”
At the end of a customer contact there should always be a check to make sure they got everything they came for and an indication of thanks. You would think that would be a given but strangely enough it’s not always what we hear. It only takes a moment to look someone in the eye and ask if there is anything else they would like and to thank them for their patronage
Delivering excellent customer service may come naturally for some, but for most people it has to be learned. It’s something I developed over the years working for a variety of companies and with different managers. Some of my best trainers were actually my peers. I learned to emulate the good ones and not to copy the bad ones. I have also taken countless training courses on the matter. Some I could have taught myself but others challenged me to improve my skills and taught me new techniques.
If you or your employees feel you could use some polish in this area, contact us today at Stuart Selbst Consulting. We are at your service. (480)389-5481.
Thank you for reading this blog post, here is the link to the video, enjoy.
All the best,