“The customer is always right” has been a mantra for customer service for decades. Companies does everything they can to make their customers happy, they are in a bidding war with no winners. I believe it is time to rethink customer service before it kills your business. I want to use this article to discuss the future of customer service, and I would appreciate your feedback on this topic. I do believe that customers should know that they are about to ruin their own experience.
4 types of customers
As I leader I have grown to believe that if I treat all equal, it will be unfair to everyone. This applies to customers as well, that is why you should understand that there are four interesting customer types as well. Some customers are very demanding and noisy others are quiet, polite and easy to deal with. Some spend a lot of money and some spend less or little money. Who gets the best deal from you? Imagine an unsatisfied customer calling you, shouting, demanding a free product, wants to talk to the manager and threatens to talk to media or use social media to spread the ugly truth about your customer service. He would most likely get a free product, most likely after talking to several managers. While other polite customers complains in a proper manner, they are in a good mood and ask in a friendly tone, when they are turned down they think; Oh well, at least I tried. Do you see how this is a mismatch with how we raise our kids?
You should strive to keep the polite, happy and quiet high spenders as your VIP customers.
You should get rid of the noisy, loud speaking, blackmailing low spenders. They will go to the competition and it is a win win situation for your company.
Why customers should applaud your new attitude
Most companies today are trying to please the unpleasable spending money and time trying to turn them around to happy customers. Dear customer, this is money that should be spent improving products or lowering prices for you. Dear company owner some will never be happy.
Make sure you can get rid of rude customers, and get a free bonus of happier staff members and more experience. People quit their job when they had enough. “Enough” can be a lot of different things but as always enough is enough. I had enough and a few drops spilled my glass, and I quit my job. The last drop might be one rude customer yelling at an employee and all of a sudden you might lose years of experience. The average “life span” of a call center employee might be as little as one year, and it might take more to get them to be good. Do you understand why customer service levels are low now? People quit their job before they become great. And where do some of them go? Yes, to your competition. So you might keep time demanding rude customers that cost you money, sending your good employees to your competition and getting more rude customers in return as your competition is turning them down. So the next time you yell at an useless employee, remember that this is the reason good employees find other jobs, leaving you doing business with “monkeys”.
“Customer service is a magnificent job, if it wasn’t for all the customers”. This is actually a fun quote referring to the loud ungrateful assholes that ruins your day. Imagine going to a major sporting event. Why is the security so high? Because some is ruining for others. Could less security lower ticket prices, so you could stop complaining about the high ticket prices? Yes, everything is connected.
Divide and Conquer
Some blind bats with high degrees and no compass still believe that customer support is expensive. This is because they spend time talking to the unhappy customers and jump by their bell. The quiet customers are being neglected and getting the worst deals. So company management is educating their customers to be loud. You might start with a happy quiet high spender, but after a few years he needs to become loud to get attention. What if your company had in your agreements that rude behavior might result in a ban from the company? What if you rewarded customers that called you for the first time after two years with a surprise discount? What if you decide to reward polite behavior? We are talking basic behaviorism theory here. It works with dogs, kids, students, employees, spouses, neighbors and even with fish. WHY SHOULD THIS NOT WORK WITH CUSTOMERS?
The result will be happier customers, happier employees with experience and in turn happier customer again. It is a positive cycle. How hard can it be?
Media is a bad customer service catapult
You might have seen TV shows where mistreated customers get help from experts to solve their problem with companies. These TV shows are contributing to the angry customers and works as a threat to companies, resulting in panic amongst the blind bats in top level management that want to avoid bad publicity in the first place. How do you deal with this? Today a lot of companies try to deal with the symptom and totally ignoring the cause. Some are being paid to silence, and this is the true expense of customer support. Make it easy for your customers to take their business elsewhere, even help them to find a new company to do business with. BECAUSE YOU MIGHT WANT SOME OF THEM TO COME BACK SOME DAY! If you pull them to court and make a lot of fuzz with a customer leaving you are only making sure that you will never ever do business with them again. And again, if you focus on your quiet and happy customer you might not end up in media in the first place and those willing to talk to media would have changed company a long time ago.
The silent crowd is gold
You might have hundreds maybe thousands of customers in your database that have not been in touch with your company for years. Are they being neglected? Are you automatically assuming that these are happy? They might be happy, but they might be on the break of being amazed, and you can be amazing. And what do amazed customers do? They brag and bring other customers to your company. Would you rather talk to these? Do you still believe that customers should be treated equal?
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