I am grateful once again to have the opportunity to contribute and have one of my posts shared on cxservice360. Stop over and take a look. Walking In The Customer’s Shoes – Really
Walking in the customer shoes will give you perspective on what the customer is feeling. With this perspective you can fine tune responses to your customers for a successful customer service experience.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. If you have found the information is customer service important please share.
Recently, my wife and I were at a carry out food establishment. We had never been to this particular establishment before. When we walked through the door. Everyone behind the counter seemed to be working getting orders together, preparing the food, cashing other customers out. Now, I consider myself a patient person. I even excused the fact that no one even greeted us when we walked though the door because of the busy factor that was going on. Well, I stood there for about 5 to 6 minutes and no one, I mean no one said a word. Hold on, Be with you in a minute, Can I help you, Sorry for the wait, I see you, Can I take your order. Nothing. Finally, I approached the counter and asked, “Will someone be able to help me?” I was directed to the other end of the counter where I still stood there with no assistance. After another few minutes. I was able to get my order in, paid for our food and out the door. Whew! What an experience. My wife wanted me to wait before saying anything just to see how long it would have taken for my presence to be noticed (I was curious about it too).
For those few minutes of not being recognized I had some unhappy feelings going though my head. How do you feel when you are ignored? In some of my readings. I have found that being ignored can cause some pretty stressful feelings and mood concerns for the customer. In a post from Street Smart Women they give the following meaning of What is the Silent Treatment.
Emotional Abuse – A form of punishment (aka control) designed to cause harm by making the victim feel powerless, invisible, insignificant & non-existent.
In the article by Devin Gackle (5 ways the Silent Treatment Is Really Damaging (And how to deal with it) She talks about the emotional stress such as depression, anger, frustration, rejection and loneliness. She even mentions that your brain is in-tune with being ignored. The anterior cingulate cortex gets activated when someone is receiving the silent treatment. I did experience some of these feelings when I was being ignored at the food establishment.
Let me give four points that would help put the customer in a comforting frame of mind when they are interacting with a service person.
Acknowledge – Saying hi, you’re welcome, sorry for the wait, thank you for coming. Something to let the customer know you see them and you have not forgotten about them will put their mind at ease that you have not dismissed them.
Eye contact – Meeting a person face to face is different when you meet them face to face with eye contact. Imaging if you and I were taking and I turned my back to you while you were speaking but I still acknowledged what you were saying. Would you really believe that I was interested in what you were talking about? Keeping eye contact shows the customer that you are engaged with the conversation and you are paying attention.
Smile – This is a winning attribute to your character. When you genuinely smile the customer gets a comfortable feeling about the interaction. One that gives the belief you care and you are going to do your best to help.
Apologize – If you make a mistake. Take ownership. Work to make it right with the customer. At times the fault may not be yours, but you do represent the brand when you work at the establishment. So, do offer some kind apologetic words so that the customer feels there is a caring element.
In the end, ignoring your customer is not good. It makes them feel dismissed, unwanted not cared for and troublesome. Even more, you may lose a customer if they are ignored for too long. Always look to treat the customer how you would want to be treated as the customer. Always make the customer feel they are a priority and not the problem.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. If you have found the information is customer service important please share.
I had an opportunity to gain first hand knowledge of what customer service and delivering an exceptional customer service experience means. These talks gave a perspective on how the business owner feels about their customers. The owners talked about what they consider exceptional customer service to be. They gave insight on how the service is delivered to their customers.
It is interesting and reassuring to know that even though the businesses I interviewed are completely different. They all share the same feelings about the customer.
In the interviews. I asked four questions.
As a consumer or provider of a product/service, what determines exceptional customer service?
How do you feel when you don’t receive great customer service or when your customer’s have not received great service?
Is the customer always right? If so why if not, why?
How far are you willing to go with your customer to maintain the relationship?
Let’s see their feedback.
Polished by Mistey – Independent business salon owner
I want to create a bond, a friendship with the with the customer. It means a lot to a person when you remember what’s going on with the customer.
Apologize with sincerity and engage the customer in a positive way so they will return to do business with you.
It depends on the scenario and you have to be careful that the customer does not take advantage. Never argue with the customer.
Go the extra step (above due diligence) to research the problem and educate the customer in a positive way so the business relationship is maintained.
Points to remember
Create a bond
Engage the customer
Creole 2 Geaux – Authentic Creole food truck business owner
Listening to my needs? Did they pay attention to me? Are you seeing what is going on with me? Attentive. Being on the lookout for something that I don’t know that I necessary need. Paying attention to customer queues. Body language. Smiling. Building the rapport. The customer deservers it. Making it right . The internal customer is key to keep engaged. They help hold the business together.
Angry, unappreciated. The customer service is what makes us a 5 star truck.
Not always right, but you have to show empathy in engaging with the customer. You have to put yourself in their shoes. Do not argue with the customer.
Above and beyond. Send texts, discounts to preferred customers. Share location to customers on where my truck will be. Treat like family. Reward program.
Points to remember
Pay attention to the customer
Remember the internal customer
Beau Burton – State Farm Agent
Going above and beyond what the customer expects. Not delivering the status quo. Setting the customer up for success.
Disappointed and we have to do better.
Not to focus on what we can’t do, but what we can do. In most cases it is an misunderstanding of what the customer has interpreted an argument is never won by either side. You can’t argue with the way a customer feels.
Find a common ground. Focus on the things we can do. If the needs cannot be met, maybe an alignment with another resource will satisfy the customer. I’m not going to make a promise that cannot be upheld. Maintaining a customer relationship is of paramount importance if mutually beneficial to both. I have the customer’s best interests at heart. Work to educate the customer.
Points to remember
Go above and beyond what the customer expects
Educate the customer
Focus on what can be done for the customer
Find common ground
Well, there you have it. The people in this interview have never met one other. However they all have the same feelings about customer service and the customer experience. The customer is what drives the business. Without the customer the business could not survive. It is vital that the points to remember outlined are committed to your memory and reflected upon when interacting with the customer. Customer service is about how you treat the customer. We all want to be treated with kindness, respect and above all valued as an important consumer of the goods and services businesses have to offer.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. If you have found the information customer service important please share. #customerserviceisreal
It is always an honor to be a guest on another persons blog to share your content. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity. Kelechi Okeke you are appreciated. Thank you for your kindness.
Emotional Intelligence is a skill that really shows the human side of a person. It is a key component for success in delivering an exceptional customer service experience. Take a look at what I have shared in the link below. I appreciate you taking the time to read my post. If you have found the information is customer service important please share.
Have you ever been out in a crowded place like the mall or waking down a busy street or passing a person at work and smiled at them? What was the reaction from the person you smiled at? Some may not have smiled back, some may have turned their heads away, some may have given the nodding gesture or a quick wave of the hand. The list of outcomes that could happen are too many for me to name in this post. One to think about though is the person that smiles back at you. Whether you realize it or not. You have just established an emotional connection with that person. How does that make you feel when you receive a responding smile?
There have been several conversations about how many muscles it takes to produce a smile and how many it takes for a frown. I’ll share a few here.
From the Snopes site https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/happiness-is-only-grin-deep/
They mention a few.
One deep-fried-Zen adage advises: “It takes 13 muscles to smile and 33 to frown. Why overwork?”
(The Washington Post, 5 December 1982)
It’s easier to smile than to frown. A smile uses 17 muscles, a frown, 43.
(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 24 February 1997)
Don’t they know it is said you use 35 muscles to frown and four to smile? Why tire yourself?
([Queensland] Sunday Mail, 18 August 1991)
According to doctors we use only four muscles to smile, but when we frown we use 64 muscles — 16 times more.
(The Hindu, 11 March 2000)
When you smile your face delivers a signal to the brain that you are happy. The brain has a connection of some kind to the muscles in your face to say something about your emotional state. A simple genuine, honest smile can make a difference in how the rest of your day goes.
Let’s try and relate the smile with the customer service experience. Here are a few statics on how smiling can help in the customer service experience.
A good smile can increase confidence by up to 10%, studies have shown. This impression can be seen by people as a vital component in the sales process.
It helps build a good first impression of your business; a customer will always prefer to do business with someone who is happy.
From the Qminder site
Around 73% of customers say they fall in love with a brand thanks to friendly employees. Meanwhile, over 58% of customers are willing to spend more money with companies that provide excellent service.
From the Nicereply blog
Willingness of participants trust towards another person increased 10%, if the person smiled.
A smile is critical in having a successful customer service experience. And guess what? It does not cost you anything. As you interact with your customer today keep these few suggestions in the forefront of your mind.
A smile can really set the tone of how the customer interaction is going to go. If you are looking for a positive outcome smile today.
A smile can give your customer a feeling of trust. The customer may be more willing to share their concerns with you. Which may result in a successful resolution.
A smile sets that initial emotional bond that is the building block for a lasting customer relationship.
A smile is the antidote that gives the other person hope knowing that you care and value them as a person. Make the smile genuine and authentic. You never know what that other person may be going though and your smile could be the life changer.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog. If you found the content customer service educating. Please share.
Have you ever had a customer service experience that left you unfulfilled? One where you had high expectations and when you got there it just wasn’t what you thought. Or have you watched an ad on TV where they show that good food for a restaurant? You know how they make the food look so inviting and delicious that you just want to stick your face to the TV! So, you go to that restaurant and order the food. It comes out looking nothing like what you saw on TV “sad face“. You think in your mind, “This is not what it looked like on TV” and you feel a little dissatisfied. Even more so if the food is not good. You leave the restaurant not saying a word about your experience thinking it will be better next time. You feel disappointed, unfulfilled and now still hungry because the food was not good and you didn’t even eat it all! Will there even be a next time based on this experience?
Why does this happen? Why does the customer leave without saying a word, voicing their concerns?
Here are some stats that share some information.
The No. 1 reason why customers stay or leave. … 60% of all customers stop dealing with a company because of what they perceive as indifference on the part of salespeople. 70% of customers leave a company because of poor service, which is usually attributed to a salesperson. Jun 10, 2013
5 Reasons Customers Leave
1% pass away
14% are lured by a competitor
14% are turned away by product or service dissatisfaction
68% leave because of poor attitude or indifference on the part of the service provider
For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent.
Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs
A typical business hears from 4% of it’s dissatisfied customers.
Source: “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner
I have a couple of thoughts on why this might be the case.
- Why bother
You may have this feeling of “what difference will it make?” A sense of helplessness, that no one is going to correct the problem anyway and it would just be a waste of your time.
Some customer service experiences you may not want the focus on you. It may seem as though you are making a scene. A feeling of being embarrassed. It might be better if nothing is said.
In some customer service experiences when they are not good and you try to bring it to the attention of someone they take offence. “Oh! you didn’t like the way I prepared the dish?” “You should have asked for no sauce!” “No, we can’t refund this.” “All sales are final!” Some of these exchanges could make for a heated argument and may even cause the support/service person to make it more difficult for you as the customer.
So, if you are someone who likes to avoid conflict (I am one of these people) You may find it best in most cases to just say nothing about your customer service experience and just hope the next time it will be better. What if that’s not the case? What if you never go back to that restaurant or you never purchase that product again? That company will never get the chance to know how you felt.
As the customer, it should not be ok to endure a bad experience or just go along with it. I have listed a few tips that could be helpful in allowing you to recover from a not so pleasant experience.
Do speak up
If you have spent money on a product/service and it’s not right. You must say something about it. It is up to the business to make it right with you. The business has a responsibility to honor their commitment in providing a quality service/product to you.
Write the company
If the service/product is not what was promised and you feel like if you say something now you will make a scene (turn heads in a public setting). Take some time and write a letter to the company about the product or service and how you didn’t get what you were promised Talk about how the experience made you feel (I have done this a few times and received a positive outcome each time).
Social media is a wonderful tool in reaching the masses. If you are not getting the desired feedback at the service level (at the shop, restaurant, store etc.). Then reach out on your social media channels. It’s almost a given that what you are feeling about your experience someone else has the same feeling but were not willing to say it because of the above points I stated earlier. As a bonus to you sharing you might just give that other person the courage to do the same the next time he or she has a bad customer experience.
Request feedback from the company about the service/product you had the bad customer experience from. Ask how they plan to make it better. Ask them when they plan to make the change to service their customers better. Let them know you will follow-up in a couple of weeks to see where they are at with what they said they would do. Hold the business accountable.
Remember as the customer have options and resources. We have to be ready to use them when the customer experience does not go correctly. We should never be made to feel as though we are the problem. We are the priority. Without the customer the business would not exist.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. If you feel this content is customer service useful. Please share.