Bad customer service. You have heard the hair-raising stories.
Katie calls the credit card company to cancel her dead father, Bill’s, credit card. The customer service representative tells her they must speak to Bill.
Or when Sue called the cable company to dispute a bill. When she didn’t get satisfaction from the call center representative, she asked to speak to a supervisor. The person on the other end said, “My supervisor can’t do anything more for you than I did. You’ll just have to pay the bill.”
And one of the best.
Deb called several catering companies for pricing for a party for 175 people which she was coordinating for a club she belonged to. She asked each caterer to have the bids to her by a certain date – 3 weeks out and 2months before the party – so that she could consult with other members and decide which would fit their needs and budget.
One caterer she was particularly interested in did not get back to her by the date. She called because she wanted this company to be in the mix of choices. The person on the other end told her they would get it to her in 2 weeks – the representative who handles these requests decided that Deb didn’t really need it by her due date!
What were these company representatives thinking?
It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way
Fortunately, for every example of bad customer service, we can cite many, many positive and outstanding customer experiences as well.
When you hire individuals, you can only guess at how well they will represent your firm. Background checks, references and responsiveness to training do not tell you how people interact when under pressure. Or when they are having a bad day.
Operations managers who keep their finger on the pulse of what is going on in their call centers, dining rooms, and retail desks can identify these personalities before they do major damage to a company’s reputation and brand.
Management at these firms interact with staff, keep them motivated and engaged through stressful seasons, and ask for feedback from their customers on a regular basis.
The holiday season is approaching. Stress levels rise. Everyone feels stretched.
Do you know how your employees will interact with your customers? If you want to do a spot check, contact me today!
If you have had an bad customer service experience, please share here!
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