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3 Most Frustrating Things About Customer Service and How To Overcome Them

by Guest Author 15 January 2020 11:26

The one thing that can make or break a business, no matter how excellent the product/service is, is customer service. An exemplary product/service will receive a five star rating but a lackluster customer service will downgrade that rating to three stars. However, it's also true that no matter what a business does, sometimes it is just never enough. It's hard to satisfy everyone. The following is a list of hurdles every business faces and ways that they can be overcome.

The Golden Rule

The single most frustrating rule about customer service is the long held belief that the customer is always right. But what if they aren't? What if the fault lies with the customer? This is where a well-trained employee can be an asset. The first consideration is if it's a trivial concern that can be remedied quickly. For example, if a mushroom-hating customer ordered soup and then realized that the description mentioned mushrooms, the waiter can simply take the soup away and ask if they would like something else instead. The situation is diffused, the waiter will probably receive a nice tip, and the company will have gone above and beyond to keep the customer happy.

However, if the complaint is something ridiculous and/or is not a consensus among the majority of customers, it is best to reiterate company policy and rules to the complainer. Herb Kelleher, CEO of Southwest Airlines, is a prime example of how to handle a difficult customer.

He chose to support his employee over a customer that would always find fault with something. This not only improves employee morale, but it also encourages them to support the company and portray it in the best light.

If a business can find a balance between when to choose the customer and when to support their employee, they've won half the battle. The other half is delivering on their product or service.

Your Product/Service Will Never Be Perfect

The customer will always find at least one fault with the product/service. The product works great but it could look better. The service provided was well executed but it could have been done faster. The majority of customers with minor complaints will criticize but it won't prevent them from being a future customer. However, for the customers who are constantly picking on small details and creating a huge fuss, the best practice is to use the HEARD technique. Hear, empathize, apologize, resolve, and diagnose. This method has been known to calm down even the most irate of customers. Often times, giving the customer the assurance that they are being heard will help to placate them. Also, letting them know that their feedback helps to improve the company can be a great ego boost for the customer.

Now, Now, Now!

Customers are becoming used to having their demands fulfilled faster and faster. Same day delivery, shorter processing times, last minute appointment availability, etc., are just some examples of the type of service customers expect. Between two companies that offer similar products, customers are more likely to pick the company that offers faster delivery even if they have to pay more. For the most part, this has motivated companies to be more efficient and organized.

However, companies whose business structure simply cannot allow for a fast lead time have combated by offering free shipping, premium quality products, a generous return policy, and superior customer service. Time and money are two of the leading factors customers focus on when making a purchase but businesses should not compromise on the quality of their product in order to have the fastest delivery time or the most competitively priced product. A great product will always have a dedicated and loyal customer base that is willing to wait and/or pay a little more.

Customer service is key to any business' success. In the age of the internet where customers are ready to jump online and write a negative review, it's important to resolve customer issues in the most expedient and courteous manner possible.

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