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 7 Deadly Sins Of Customer Service

7 Deadly Sins Of Customer Service

Customer service is a term that has lost its meaning. In the past, when a company touted customer service, you could rely and trust that if you had any situation occur, that company would do what was necessary to correct the problem and have a solution that both that company and yourself can live with.

The company that provided customer service didn’t necessarily have to get everything right; in fact, they most likely were wrong many times. This also means that the customer doesn’t necessarily have to be perceived as getting ‘something for nothing.’ However, they also realised that an unhappy customer is a non-repeat buyer.

Here are 7 deadly sins of customer service committed by business:

  1. Money
    This sin relates to the fact that money becomes the overwhelming reason as to why you are in business. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with making money or wishing to achieve profitability. There is something wrong with making this your primary reason for being in business. Customers will eventually sense the lack of value for them and your ‘money supply’ will diminish. This will increase exponentially because an unhappy customer isn’t just telling a few friends; they are letting anyone who has an Internet connection know the details of what happened to them.
  2. Complacency
    Complacency means letting things that you would ordinarily pursue drift and fall away. We all know what happens when we let our homes go into a state of disrepair. First, we don’t clean the house as often. Then, a wall develops a crack and we don’t fix it. Next, a door begins to creak and we don’t lubricate the joints and seams. This occurs until our house has deteriorated to the point that our neighbours are questioning what’s wrong with us. The same thing can occur with your business. Your customers will slowly but surely cease to buy from you to the point where you’re wondering what happened. Complacency happened and destroyed your livelihood and your reputation.
  3. Employees Blaming Each Other
    Sometimes a situation can occur in the workplace where employees can begin to blame each other especially if a situation with customer has developed and has been handled by multiple points of contact. Employee A blames employees B, C, D, E and F for not maintaining records of the customer and solving the situation. The vast circle of blame intensifies while the customer is left without resolution or at least a means of getting their situation resolved.
  4. Lack Of Proper Employee Training
    In our rush to have our employees trained and productive right from the beginning, we often overlook that these employees are handling a very valuable asset: our customers. Without proper employee training, our front line will diminish our business and disregard our reputation. Training isn’t a one time process. Training occurs over the life of the employee and as long as the employee is a member of your enterprise. We know that it’s easy for us to forget some skills; the same occurs with an employee. Also, new techniques and methods are developed that can enhance the value of the employee and help attract more customers.
  5. Not Listening
    In our rush to get rid of the complaining customer or to solve the problem and get to the next customer in our queue, we can sometimes not listen to the real situation. Most times, customers want to have a forum (an ear) to listen to them. This may come in the form of a complaint, yelling, screaming, ranting or raving. The savvy customer service provider will realise that the customer will eventually cease to yell and want confirmation that the customer service provider has been listening. This is very important. A skilled customer service provider will allow the customer to have their say and not interrupt. They will also be able to steer the customer with better questions that open for a resolution that is both satisfactory to the customer and to the company that the customer service provider represents. The key is listening.
  6. Lying
    In our attempt to be rid of a customer and their complaints we can lie about the situation. We can fail to document what occurred or we can include details that never occurred. This creates an escalating situation of ‘I didn’t say that’ and ‘it’s in our file.’ Mistakes can happen, however outright lying will catch up with your business and destroy what you have built.
  7. Condescending Attitude
    When we place ourselves on the front line of customer service, either face to face or over the phone, our voice, tone, facial expressions all come across loudly to our customer. This is especially true over the phone. A condescending customer service provider will clearly broadcast this and the customer will pick up the nuances over the phone. They will interpret what is being said as hostile and tempers will flare.

Creating the right atmosphere for superior customer service doesn’t require many resources. What is does require is a commitment to standards and a set process for adequately resolving issues.

At, we have been listening to our customers. This has enabled us to grow to over 20,000 clients. We acknowledge that there are times when resolution may take more than the prescribed time frame we specify. However, we will notify you and keep you informed as to the positive progression of resolving your situation.

At, you’re just not a buyer of our services. You are a customer for life.

Article Details
Article ID: 90
Created On: 03 Jul 2007 12:12 PM

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