Simply Great Choices Create Super Customer Experience
by Kate Nasser | 14 Comments »
Delivering a super customer service experience is all about the choices. Simply great choices can create it! Poor choices can destroy it.
Frustration with the customer is often at the heart of those poor choices. In fact, frustration with customer behavior can make poor choices very tempting.
The best in customer service find something else even more tempting — the strength and skill to resist temptation and choose greatness!
Frustration, Temptation & Simply Great Choices
The strength to choose service greatness rests within your professional identity.
How do you want to be known? What do you picture as greatness? If service is not in that picture, your attitude and behavior will yield to frustration.
If you want to create super customer experience, here are 7 common frustrations, temptations and the simply great choices!
- Your Frustration: The customer wants to speak before you or more than you.
Temptation: Seize control of the conversation and talk over the customer. Poor choice.
Great Choice: Let them talk! Your response will be far more accurate the more you understand.
- Your Frustration: The customer wants something non-standard. This takes time, thought, effort, and takes you out of your normal pace.
Temptation: Show your exasperation and label the customer as difficult. Poor choice.
Great Choice: Show your interest — even excitement — in doing and learning something different. This is the chance to WOW ’em.
- Your Frustration: You want the customer to completely populate your contact database before you help them and they want some information without being locked in your detailed procedure.
Temptation: Ignore their preference and continue on with your questions. Poor choice.
Great Choice: Get basic identifying information like name, account # and then focus on what they need! Once you have the solution underway, validate or get other personal information for your database. Focusing on the customer delivers a super customer experience. Focusing on your database doesn’t.
- Your Frustration: The customer is upset and venting their anger.
Temptation: Lecture to them (i.e. There is no reason to raise your voice, I am trying to help you). Poor choice.
Great Choice: Let them vent. When they are done, empathize and take action. Fix the situation, not the customer! If you don’t, your competitor will.
- Your Frustration: The customer waits until the last minute for help and has an urgent need.
Temptation: Tell the customer they should have called you sooner. Poor choice. Criticizing them for poor planning leaves an emotional scar on them that will burden you next time — if they come back.
Great Choice: Determine whether or not you can meet this urgent need. If yes, do it. Being the customer’s hero is a super customer experience! If you truly can’t, let them know that and refer to other resources that might be able to help them. Expressions of good will and effort build future trust.
- Your Frustration: Customer doesn’t follow an important procedure and it causes the customer, and you, repeated problems.
Temptation: Patronize the customer with an insipid rhetorical question like do you remember I said to enter your account id not your phone number? Poor choice. Patronizing the customer is professionally immature and disrespectful.
Great Choice: Simply give the customer the answer again. Courteous honest answers help and don’t hurt. After you have helped them, ask if there is anything you can do to make it easier for them next time. You might also review any written instructions or online design to see how to make it clearer.
- Your Frustration: The customer wants to ask questions along the way and you want to go through your whole presentation or explanation first.
Temptation: Tell the customer to wait until you are done. Poor choice. You are telling the customer that you are more important than they are.
Great Choice: Dialogue with the customer; put their needs first. You will meet your needs through theirs and deliver a super customer experience.
The feeling of relief from venting your frustration on the customer is very short lived. It ruins your company brand and your personal and professional reputation.
When you choose great listening, adaptability, patience, reasonableness, competence, and agility for sudden needs, you deliver truly memorable and super customer experiences.
What other frustrations do you have with customers? Add them in the comments section below and I will help you deliver a super customer experience. I deliver the antidotes to your frustration!
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™
Related Post: Be Plentiful & Ready to Deliver Super Customer Experience
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on customer service experience, teamwork, and leading change. She turns interaction obstacles into business success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
Most of the bad choices we seem to make are accompanied by our poor listening and inattention to details. If we take the time to allow people to say what is on their minds, without our pre-conceived notions and canned answers, much can be learned and accomplished.
For myself, as a physician, if I actually allow the patient to speak, I can usually tell exactly what’s is wrong with her physically or psychologically, well over 80% of the time without ever touching them. It makes both our lives simpler, and the interaction much more beneficial, productive and efficient.
Similarly, when “customers” are angry, let them vent. See and understand what is underneath all that anger, and build it into an open and authentic relationship. And, one which will likely garner more referrals.
Sadly, listening is not a skill we are actively taught, nor one highly praised in our general society.
My heart is warmed that you allow your patients to converse with you. If I lived near you, I would be your patient.
Great post! Wonderfully written!
I think it all goes into expectation, perception & communication.
1) Expectation: part of the product positioning, every step you take to approach the customer should fall within the brand features itself. Customers bond to your product coz they expect such product to fulfill their needs. Knowing this expectations will make it easy for future rebranding.
2) Perception: Johari’s Window as a tool is very powerful to bridge the gaps between you and your customers! The more you make the public area visible to your customers the more your perception of the product will be clearly revealed to your customers!
Johari’s window is nicely explained here: http://www.chimaeraconsulting.com/johari.htm
3) Communication: We usually have big problems and misunderstanding here! The biggest reason the product failures is miscommunicating its features to targeted customers! Customer awareness of their need fulfillment is very important to be communicated! Some time also new changes to existing product is done without explaning the reason behind such changes to the customer leaving the customer confused by such change!
Keep the customer informed. that’s the message i want to deliver.
Thanks again for giving me the chance to comment in such a great post Kate 🙂
Wonderful reminder for us all Khalid — “Keep the customer informed!” Customers don’t like bad surprises and gaps in communication are where many of them are born.
Warmest thanks for your comments and insights here.
A great way to define these interactions, Kate! There is a thin line between how we choose to respond or work with customers, and it is essential to take a deep breath and make the right choice. By doing this, we will get so much more information from our customers, really understand what is on their mind, and build much better, longer term relationships. Great post! Thanks! Jon
A nice deep breath can go a long way when dealing with these situations. So very true Jon. Many thanks for weighing in on this one.
Excellent analysis of what happens – probably behaving exactly as the customer you describe!
Great post, Kate!
Take heart by remembering this: The more frustrated or upset the customer is, the greater the impact you can have by helping them resolve their problem (by following the advice Kate suggests in #4, #5, #6). Once you use your skill set to take a customer from frustrated to satisfied and even to ‘delighted’, they will be your customer for a very long time and sing your praises to many others. So, listen to Kate and let the singing commence!
Love the reference to singing Guy — great imagery. And I am grateful to your intra-blog shout out 🙂
This is a good list for customer service leaders to read so they’ll remember their employees are human beings who have their own emotions and temptations. A strong, encouraging supervisor can often be the difference between giving into temptation and doing the right thing.