Customer Service Skills Matter


do customer service skills matterEvery company that interacts with customers must, by default, offer customer service. The significant issue that some businesses fail to address, however, is what level of customer service they are providing.

Great customer service can be the difference between a business that succeeds and a business that fails, regardless of the product or service being offered. Customers want what they want, and companies that would like to keep their customers happy should be placing immense value on each encounter with a customer.

In the real world, however, how common is it that a customer actually receives quality customer service? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many times have you called a company and been left on hold for longer than five minutes?
  • How many times have you called a company, spoken with someone who could not help you, and then been transferred to someone else who could not help you?
  • How many times have you called a company and, after the unsatisfying and unhelpful phone call, told yourself that you would never again bother calling that company’s customer service?  

Unfortunately, the above circumstances have probably occurred more often than any of us would like them to. But why? Why is it that some (many?) businesses do not value customer service? It can’t be one bad employee.

Likewise, it can’t be an entire untrained staff. Could it be the company does not value customer service at all? When we receive excellent customer service, it stands out, but that’s backwards; great customer service should not stand out—it should be the norm.

I recently had to call my cable TV vendor in regard to a billing issue. I was on hold for 20 minutes. After a representative finally answered the call, it took the rep five minutes to pull up my information. After explaining to her that I had been overcharged, she explained to me that she could not help me.

I was then told I would be transferred to a supervisor. I sat on hold for another 20 minutes. When the supervisor finally answered the call, it took him another five minutes to access my information. He then told me all he could do was issue me a credit for one-third of what I was overcharged.

When I asked if there was someone else I could speak to, he said no and told me to call back another time. So almost an hour into my phone call, they had not solved my problem. In fact, I was given the impression that they did not care about my problem or my service. It felt as if they just wanted me to go away.

This was not a good customer service exchange; in fact, the level of customer service wasn’t even mediocre—it was awful.  

Good customer service is putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. It is listening to their concerns, and then figuring out the best way to help them. The customer is not always right, but when they are right, they deserve extraordinary customer service.

When they are wrong, they still deserve good customer service. After all, customers are what keep your business growing.


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