Superior Customer Service: Think Care Not Guilt
I hear some customer service reps, agents, and analysts — even leaders — say that you shouldn’t “We’re sorry” to customers because it means “we’re guilty.” There is even one consultant who has written a book with this same idea. This is a dangerous mistake. It’s a myth.
Sorry doesn’t mean guilty. It means we care. In fact if we are thinking about who’s guilty, we aren’t even in the zone of delivering superior customer service and customer experience.
Don’t picture this …
Picture this …
Grateful for both images from Istockphoto.com.
Superior Customer Service: Think Care, Not Guilt!
Superior customer service is never about guilt. It’s about responsibility, desire, and passion to serve and to care.
- Sorry doesn’t mean guilty. When we offer condolences at a funeral, it doesn’t mean we are guilty. Sorry is one of the many ways to express empathy. We’re sorry for your _________ doesn’t mean we’re guilty of it.
- When customers are upset we are responsible (not guilty) for the less than satisfying experience they had. Let’s make it incredibly great. Studies show that outstanding service recovery skills often create some of the most loyal customers! Many customers believe that some mistake is bound to happen and they are wowed by great empathy and service recovery skills.
- Thinking that sorry means guilty says we are thinking of ourselves instead of the customer. We have misinterpreted the customer’s outburst as an accusation against us. It isn’t! Customers want care and resolution. Let’s give them unadulterated full out “we’re sorry” care and full commitment to resolve.
- Customers can get upset for many reasons. Don’t analyze whether they are valuable reasons or who’s at fault. This is wasted time and effort. Don’t play neutral either. Go all the way and show them true empathy! Empathize emotions don’t analyze them.
- Humility is not humiliation. Humility allows us to put the customers emotional needs ahead of ours. We are the professionals. This is not humiliation which is the driving emotion behind the guilty/sorry debate. The debate is useless. It sidetracks us from the main goal — delivering superior customer service and retaining that customer.
- Live with accountability not blame. We are responsible for delivering superior customer experience. This is a far cry from being guilty when we miss the mark.
Remember, if customers are talking to us, they’re interested in our business! We have a chance to show we care. A chance to wow. Don’t blow this chance by withholding empathy. Give a caring “we’re sorry”. It’s not a shameful “we’re guilty.”
Be glad to apologize if customers have less than a stellar experience. It is a chance for us to reaffirm commitment with true empathy. It’s a chance to show just how much we care about them.
Short 2 minute video with inspirational message for leaders and teams to deliver superior customer experience!
Turn away from the guilt mindset. It doesn’t belong in superior customer service. Thinking of guilt stops us from doing just that.
Re-frame the discussion. Create a customer centric culture of superior customer service and the ultimate success through care. It’s easily doable and very valuable!
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results. Kate also invites you to connect with her on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. She welcomes your interaction!