Most of the lists we all see in business magazines are all positive; the top ten strategies you should be exploring or 5 ways to improve your team, so it was striking when I saw that Forbes recently listed the 10 worst practices in customer service.
Ten really awful customer service practices is a lot, so if I was going to echo my own experience of what Forbes has identified as the worst way to treat customers then I’d pick out just three:
- Customer service is not a ‘day one’ thing; it’s great when a company has a detailed initiation programme to help new team members come on board, but you cannot include a few golden words of customer service wisdom in the initiation and then forget about it altogether. Customer service is something that the team has to live and breathe on a daily basis.
- Discriminating by channel; customers don’t expect different service on different channels. They don’t expect that you will answer the phone, but will not bother answering an email. They expect the same level of service however they get in touch so start considering how to manage all those new channels better.
- Not respecting time; customers that call for help are often undress stress – something is going wrong, which is why they are calling. Putting them on hold for a couple of minutes can feel far longer for the customer who needs help. Likewise if the customer emailed a request for help, let them know you have the message and are working on it.
Getting this right is really all about communication and planning, making sure that your team operates within a company culture that aims to help the customer first.
Photo by Stavos licensed under Creative Commons