You customer service reps out there who complain and have all of your whiny reasons why your job is so bad……..Get Out! You’re going to be whining until the world comes to an end; and that can be very, very stressful on you. Until your organization decides to handle customer service correctly, those customers will continue to get angry and take it out on you.
“Most” problems customers have are not unreasonable.
“Most” of those problems are created from poor habits at the point of sale. The customer is sent out the door with inadequate knowledge about what they got themselves into. Yep! That’s right!
Your salespeople don’t know they’re doing this and the customer doesn’t realize it’s being done to them until there’s a glitch. Then the blame game starts. If you are going to have the bad attitude of playing that game……You Lose…..period! But if you play, you have to decide how you will placate that customer and we all know that process can be draining.
But you say, our salespeople treat the customer right and help them all they can. How does this cause problems later.
People get so focused on making the sale, whether that be from pressure by management or just trying to be cute, they are hardly focused on the customer. When you’re not focused on customers the right way they may leave with a purchase that is not what they really need or they may leave with a purchase that they don’t understand correctly. This obviously raises the chance of them becoming upset once the product is home. You see, even if they are at fault for making the wrong decision…..you get the blame. That’s the way it is and that’s the way it will be!
“Knockout Customer Service Rule” # 5: You’re better off talking a customer out of buying if you know the purchase may not be right for them!
JOE! Did you just say what I thought you said? You bet I did! My experience has shown that if you care about helping people and make sure you ask them if they are completely satisfied with their purchase before they leave your store, you will end up with far fewer unsatisfied and unhappy customers. You also save a lot of potential costs later when trying to make things right.
The profit you make on a sale may pale in comparison to the cost to you later if you aren’t honest and transparent right up front in the selling process!
This is called nipping potential problems in the bud. It’s effective and it definitely works. I’ll devote my next post entirely to this rule.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. There are going to be some unreasonable and hard to deal with customers. That’s just the way it is. But these should be few and far between and if they are not; your company really has issues. Even if you lose these customers, you should still handle them with dignity and respect. But always remember; they still don’t owe you a wonderful day! If you can’t deal with their abuse, please re-read my opening paragraph to this post. Personally, I have never dealt with an irate customer that I couldn’t calm down! I may not have saved them all, but I could stop their abuse. And trust me, I’m no genius. It can be done!
Calming down irate customers is your job. If you’re so miserable handling the anger and bad language, you’ve got some serious thinking to do because it won’t change no matter how much you complain about it. I wander around the web reading comments on blogs with customer service reps whining because “poor little me” gets treated so bad by customers. It’s not about you. As long as you have that poor me attitude, you’ll never be able to deal with customer service problems adequately.
In your defense, here’s your second big problem. You work with your hands tied. This ends up frustrating you. Frustration is not the best mental state to be in when dealing with the public. Your company ties your hands by not allowing you to take care of that difficult customer on the spot. And by take care of, I don’t mean passing them off. If you aren’t allowed to take care of my problem without having to pass me off to a supervisor, you are in many cases “escalating” the problem, and it’s not your fault.
Until the people in charge of your organization understand this and make a Real effort at providing customer service, you’re going to get the guff that angry customers dish out.
While you do that, your managers get to go to more meetings and seminars to learn all the new metrics and paradigms and whatever else about improving customer service. Then they will come back and show you another way to handle those customers that still get angry from their last brilliant customer service policy.
In the meantime, quit complaining about angry customers and quit whining about how “poor little you” are treated. Instead, complain about your companies’ customer service policies. Ask them to untie your hands! Good luck!