Here it is – The Top Ten Signs of Poor Customer Service!
Drum roll please.
An Us vs Them Mindset. This person thinks that Customers are out to get him or her. They feel the Customer decided to wake up that day and “mess with me for no reason.” This also includes the “Poor me” and the “I hate my _____” (insert job, life, spouse, etc) person who feels that everyone is out to get them.
Poorly trained staff. Yep. It seems to be everywhere. And I hear the same things all the time. “I don’t have time to train” or “I train them and they quit” or “I want to try them out for awhile before I train them. ” These are poor excuses. Heck, I’ve even used the “try for awhile” one myself. You know what? There is no excuse for poorly trained staff. If you are the person responsible, you need to take a look at your paycheck. It represents payment for services rendered as a Professional! Not an amateur.
Stiff, forced or awkward answers. When they speak it sounds like a teenager trying to explain why they came home late. (” Uhhh, you won’t believe it man.”) This is a lack of confidence in the product, poor training (see above), lack of skill or lack of aptitude. You can fix the confidence by learning the product, fix the skills with practice (role play, scripting) and conduct ongoing training. You cannot fix the aptitude. There are some people who do not have the inner social, educational or people skills needed to work in the field of Customer Service.
Uncommitted to the field of Customer Service or to the Customer. Very obvious especially when you ask them how long have they been there and they say something like “3 years” and yet the skill set they have belongs to a “day one never been in Customer Service” employee. That tells you something about them. I mean, you gotta figure they have about as much interest in becoming professional Customer Service people as a fish learning to fly. If they have not asked about training, company plans and their role in the big picture, they are telling you one of two things.
1. The place you work is sending a signal that everyone who works here will never progress beyond where they are now, so why bother.
2. They don’t care to invest in themselves to become better at what they do.
And not committing themselves to the Customer by working to resolve situations is a big signal as well. These people throw their hands up at the first sign of trouble and say things like “I can’t deal with this person” or “Why is everybody rude?” Some reasons for this behavior could be they feel as if they don’t have the support or tools necessary, or they don’t see the results that they expected from previous situations.
Personnel are not Customer focused. They are instead focused on preservation. They want to preserve their status, position, seniority, etc. They very rarely extend themselves or reach out to Customers.
It is a naturally occurring growth. Unfortunately, it’s a cancerous growth. And you may need to remove it. Help them see that by continuing to perform in this manner they are actually limiting themselves and not preserving anything. In fact, when there are rough waters, these are the first people you jettison as “dead weight.”
Customers have to ask for action to take place. It’s called cattle prod Customer Service. They have to prod the personnel to get any action. And even then, may not get anything at all. In fact, they could possibly start a stampede! Anytime your Customers are pushing your staff to get something done, something is wrong. And it’s not the Customer!
Frequent interruptions. Telephones, other employees, customer after customer, too many duties, not enough time, oh there are so many causes of interruptions. It is a symptom of our times. Just because computers and email and texting work fast, with no complaints, we expect our Customer Service to be the same way. Folks, it just ain’t so. No matter how many computers you have that hum, telephones that ring and texting that flashes, if you don’t have the human element in place, it’s not going to work.
People need the human touch. It’s that little warm feeling that comes from interacting with someone face to face.
What I am really trying to say is this.
HAVE ENOUGH STAFF! Not just enough, I mean enough.
Enough means no extra waiting, no wandering Customers, no standing in extra long lines, no “can’t answer that question because I don’t have time” and many other examples of being understaffed or “just enough” staff. Then have the processes and systems in place to back up your staff. And train them.
In tense situations we raise our voices, flail our arms sometimes and generally have an effect on an entire area. Not moving the parties involved to another area is a sign of poor Customer Service. People know when something is not quite right. We sense it. It spreads from person to person without the need for speaking. It is obvious when we see it. In many cases, we feel there is a need to “stand your ground” with the Customer. Does that include doing it at the front counter, reception area, parking lot, etc…? Why not move the Customer and you to an area that has some semblance of privacy and you can then air out your differences? It would definitely improve your image and other Customers perceptions.
Unhappy people. That’s right, unhappy people in your Customer Service department. They are there. And for whatever reason they are unhappy. Spouse, family situations, medical, you name it. And it bleeds over into their performance and to your Customer. If you are unhappy, do something about it. Talk to someone, get help! We already know you are unhappy! Let’s work this out together so that we can conduct our business as Professionals! If you are unhappy because you are in Customer Service, then get out of it. Find a career you can be happy in. We’ll manage without you. (In some cases, way better without you)
Poor Attitude. What can I say? It’s an internal thing. You can’t fix it from the outside. People have to see it for themselves, change it for themselves. You wish you could push their attitude adjustment button; it just doesn’t work that way.
If you are the person with the poor attitude, then do something about it. The rest of us are tired of it.
There they are! The Top Ten! If any of these fit you, your department or your life, Get After It!