The Customer Is King

October 3, 2018

What’s Happened To Customer Service These Days?

When I started working (all those years ago) my first role was as a customer service assistant. The premise behind my role was simple; to make sure we had stock on the shelves and to help customers with any inquiries. The result of which would be that the customer would enjoy their ‘shopping experience’ and return to our store. The benefits to me were that it meant I would keep my job and, hopefully, my bosses would notice me.

Since then the roles I have taken include PR, Customer Service and Management roles. One thing I have always prided myself on and focused on was providing a quality service or ‘customer experience’. Quite often this isn’t particularly challenging which leaves me puzzled as to why I hear stories about terrible customer service.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know from my management experience that there are professional complainers out there, but there are ways of dealing with them to appease their concerns and quash their complaint.

I think it is important to be able to distinguish the ‘professional complainer’ from a genuine complaint and the key to this is listening. Either way, you can’t afford to let a complaint slip past you as the results could be quite damaging to your reputation/brand image.

We are in the midst of a social (or some would say anti-social) age whereby everyone Tom, Dick and Harry is on Social Media. The result of which it makes it so easy to share a status, post, or issue to hundreds of friends. Long gone are the days where if someone had a bad experience they would tell 7 people. Now the message is likely to reach in excess of 250 people across a number of channels.

My Message

Deal with a complaint in the first instance. Make the complainant feel like you understand, and even apologise if necessary. Find a suitable remedy for the situation and don’t let your reputation suffer.

On top of this you may choose to do the following:

  • Have a clear business philosophy making clear what your customers can expect.
  • Make sure your staff understand the importance of customer service.
  • Take a step back and look at the image your business and perhaps your staff give to consumers/prospective customers.

 

After all, without customers you are nothing...

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