It's Up to You to Make Customer Service a Positive Experience
When was the last time you had a truly phenomenal customer service experience?
When was the last time someone you know shared a story about wonderful customer service?
Were you able to recall a truly positive experience without having to think too far back? If so, thatís great! I encourage you to share that experience.
The sad truth is that most people will probably recall a poor customer service incident before they recall a great experience.
Why is this?
Satisfied customers donít have anything to complain about. Theyíve received the service they deserve, the results they desire or at the very least an explanation of why something couldnít be resolved exactly how they would have liked, or perhaps an alternate solution to the situation (whatever the situation might be).
The satisfied customer is able to go about their business without negative feelings or thoughts. A satisfied customer has experienced great customer service and has been treated as a valued customer. Theyíre comfortable with the service they received.
While receiving exceptional customer service is a great experience, people arenít likely to share the story unless they happen to be discussing the particular business where they received that exceptional service. It isnít often that a satisfied customer takes the time to let management know what a pleasant and professional experience they encountered.
An unsatisfied customer, on the other hand, will not forget that they didnít receive the service, answer, or solution they were looking for particularly if they were not treated with respect. The unsatisfied customer will share this experience with anyone who will listen and sometimes with people who arenít listening. Oftentimes, the unsatisfied customer will ask to speak to management, so that they can voice their displeasure. They are clearly not comfortable with the service they have received.
Letís stop and think about this. Satisfied customers will be glad to have had the experience but since a positive experience didnít cause discomfort, they are less likely to share the experience. Whereas, an unsatisfied customer, will share this information with who ever they can because they are not happy and they want to make sure that others know how they could be treated.
It would seem that something is wrong with this picture and not just with the responses of a satisfied customer versus an unsatisfied customer.
Perhaps something is inherently wrong with customer service in general. Could it be that companies provide improper training? Do businesses simply not care if their customers are satisfied?
I donít believe this is true of most businesses. I believe that businesses want to provide the best product and service possible. However, they are not always able to control the behaviors of others.
Perhaps the real issue lies with individual perceptions and the general treatment of fellow humankind?
How many times have you personally had a problem and taken your frustration out on the customer service representative you happened to be talking too?
How many times have the business contacts or customer service representatives taken such frustrations personally and responded in the same negative manner?
Customer service begins with each individual, the customer and the service provider. The truth is we are all people who deserve to be treated with respect. All too often, this is forgotten.
My point is this. You have a choice in how you will behave. You can work together with your fellow humans to provide solutions and understanding or you can choose not too.
While individuals can choose to be positive or negative, itís also important to foster positive attitudes in all business environments. This needs to begin from the top down. Owners, key management and staff members must promote positive interactions and model appropriate behavior.
Consider your approach. Consciously weigh how it affects others. Your behavior is important. It can result in a positive or negative experience depending on your actions.
When interacting with others, no matter the circumstances, consider the following:
* How would you like to be treated?
* Do you have a clear idea of what you would like the outcome of your interaction to be? If so, share that information. If, not, consider the situation and prepare before interacting.
* If you donít receive your desired outcome consider the reasons & realize there are times when it may not be possible to a resolve a situation as you had anticipated.
* Be professional. Do not take your frustrations out on the messenger.
* People will usually treat you the way that you treat them.
By giving each interaction thoughtful consideration before reacting, a more positive outcome is likely.
When we keep our own emotions in check, we are able to look at situation objectively and understand the reason for particular policies, procedures and even otherís reactions and behaviors.
Most importantly, sharing kindness will spread kindness. Sharing positive experiences will encourage positive experiences.
We are all human and we will have our moments. However, awareness of this can help avoid unnecessary conflicts. Itís up to each of us to do our part.