Awesome Customer Service

Good Customer Service – Doesn’t Mean Caving In!

good customer service

Is the Customer Always Right?

Think good customer service, and you are often told  – ‘The customer is always right.’ But if you have ever handled customer service issues, you know this isn’t exactly true. This statement isn’t meant to be taken literally. What it really means is that the customer is always right in their mind. Making them happy and satisfied is the key to having good customer service.

Right Even When They’re Wrong

Many businesses don’t do customer service well because they fail to understand this concept. Put yourself in their position. They have a problem with your company. They come to you expressing this problem. Even though they may have misunderstood company policy or made a mistake when ordering, they still have feelings of frustration or anger.

Your first responsibility is to listen to them and empathize. When you show that you trust them, you acknowledge their feelings. In other words, they’re right. Now they’re ready to cooperate with you to reach a viable solution.

The Customer Is Always Wrong

It might be easier to understand this by taking an example of the opposite attitude – the customer is always wrong. There are certain businesses that have an adversarial attitude toward their customers. This can be common among government agencies and other organizations that don’t depend on the support of the people they serve. To them offering good customer service is an after thought.

Often, the person helping you is overworked and only concerned with one thing – getting rid of you. Whether you walk out of the office smiling or fuming doesn’t matter to them. Your problem is not their problem. You’ve probably done something wrong anyway, and whats more you’re keeping them from getting their other work done.

When the Customer Is Clearly Wrong

The main argument against the eternal rightness of the customer is the fact that sometimes they are just plain wrong. They make outrageous demands that are impossible or against company policy. They want you to make it stop raining or deliver the Holy Grail to their house.

When this happens, you’re obviously not going to give them what they want. The first step is to empathize with them, no matter how ridiculous the demand. Show them that you recognize their feelings. Next, offer an alternative that your company is capable of giving them. If they press the matter, remind them that what they want is impossible, but stay humble and poised, and not defensive.

‘The customer is always right’ doesn’t actually mean what it says. What it means is that you’re on their side. You’re going to work together to get the situation resolved. A secret to offering good customer service is to create a company policy that starts with the customers’ needs and develop a system for serving them from there.

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Peter Gianoli

Author Peter Gianoli

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