The New York Times carried a small note of large interest to all of us in personnel management who are in contact with the public: “If one of your New Year’s resolutions was ‘I will be more patient’, be warned: Customer Service Reps are not going to make it easy for you!”
In a recent “Customer Rage Study”* (actual title), it was found that “70 percent of us experienced rage” when dealing with a Customer Service Rep, and that 33 percent of us will actually YELL at the person who was supposedly trying to be helpful. And overall, only 13 percent said that the customer service they received was “excellent”.
One of our own trainers recounted a recent multi-day series of interactions she had with a particular drive-thru restaurant “helper”. She was so astounded by their lack of basic customer service skills and courtesy that she finally called the manager of the restaurant and complained. She told the manager that the window person had the personality of an angry bull! The manager said they had received other complaints, and that the employee had already been written up several times! And yet they were still out front, dealing with the customers – and no doubt, losing business for the company!
Are we sometimes too reluctant to confront? Are we sometimes afraid of making a mistake and being found ‘guilty’ of management error? Are we sometimes saddling ourselves, and our associates, and our organization, and our customers/clients/patients/visitors with the problem we are too timid to address?
No business, large or small, can afford to lose customers because of a lack of good, basic customer service skills. Don’t let the face of your company – and your bottom line – be diminished by something that is so simple to fix!
*Customer Care Alliance & Arizona State University 2005
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