Customer Service Myths That Won’t Die!

Customer service professionals and leaders need always remember that great customer service is defined by the customer and from the customer’s perspective. Yet as with most professions, the temptation to see things from the inside often takes control and drives beliefs.

When this temptation controls for too long, the beliefs become ingrained. These deep-rooted customer service myths can sink long term success.

Customer Service Myths That Won't Die

Here are 4 of these customer service myths that won’t die. What would you add to this list and how can we finally bust these myths from the soul of customer service?

    MYTH #1: Delivery is more important than how you treat the customer. There are many who believe that as long as you deliver the goods or solve the customers’ problems, the customers will be very pleased. Not true. 
    Remember, if you stress the customers out along the way — they will remember the negative even if you deliver in the end. They start looking for companies that can make service easier next time.

    MYTH #2: If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist. Baloney. All the discoveries humans have made existed before we discovered them. Metrics are a valuable tool for humans to make decisions. They are one means to an end — they are not the end.
    Believing that metrics are the heart and soul of great customer service is a very dangerous myth.

    MYTH #3: Customers separate customer service from customer experience like companies do. Are you laughing as much as I am at this one?
    Customers don’t care what you call it. They want every aspect of products and services to meet their needs and be easy to use!

    MYTH #4: If you treat customers well, you teach them to be demanding and unreasonable. Huh? How did that one get started and plant its long roots into the customer service psyche?
    Let’s replace that myth with the truth: If you treat customers badly, they eventually go elsewhere.

What other harmful customer service myths do you want to bust apart? I welcome your customer service voice in the comments section below.

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish, please email Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, customer service, customer experience, and teamwork. She turns interaction obstacles into business success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

5 Responses to “Customer Service Myths That Won’t Die!”

  1. Kate,
    Great points. The metrics one really hit a nerve with me. I know of a large, service-based organization that is beating their front line associates and managers to death with metrics, to the point that the moral there is dismal.
    Another myth I would add would be the customer always shops for the best price….you know the rest!

  2. Kate,

    I am not sure I agree with the presentation of Myth #3. There is a difference between Customer Service Experience and Customer Experience. Customer Service Experience is a subset of the greater Customer Experience. As you point out in Myth #2, certain things need to be measured, and that is important. There are metrics, well established and important for customer service, the ones for customer experience as not as clear (at least not those specific to customer service experience).

    It is important to understand where the customer draws the line, of course. So, whether the customer understands the difference or not, it is important for practitioners to understand the difference. I believe customers do draw a line between how well a product worked, or not and the experience associated with fixing a problem. AT&T subscribers certainly do – they understand the difference between a call dropping – poor service and not being able to get an agent on the phone to fix a problem.


  3. Pam Ross says:

    Great points, Kate! I would add another myth: “The customer will take advantage of you any chance they get” / “The customer is out to screw you.” I often run across this myth when teaching service recovery.
    My suggested approach: don’t let the customer pay for something they didn’t fully enjoy. This is a hard pill to swallow, and I’ve seen restaurant managers offer to take 50% off because the customer ate half the meal (insulting) or buy a dessert because their steak wasn’t cooked properly (how is this fair?). These approaches often anger the customer more, and if you recover poorly from a complaint, chances are, they aren’t coming back, and they’re telling their friends.
    If you can approach a complaint proactively and positively, believing that the customer is not out to get you, you can win a customer for life.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Pam, I echo your thoughts. And I love your addition to this “myth” list. Yours is #5!
      Thanks for sharing your insight and expertise.

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