There are many things that irk customers off when they perceive they’ve received bad service. Few though will cause more consternation than a bad attitude from the very person who is being paid to serve them! In most situations, customers will generally tolerate a lot—after all, everybody understands that mistakes can happen, particularly when they are accompanied by a sincere apology. On the other hand, have you ever been in a situation when bad service has also been accompanied by a supposed “professional” who appears to be showing you absolutely no signs of caring? We’ve all probably had this happen to us at one time or another, and it’s infuriating. It could be a restaurant server, a shop assistant, or even a doctor. There are suboptimal apples in all industries. Displaying a poor attitude is probably the single worst thing any customer-facing professional could ever do, not least when there’s already a problem with the service! Some common scenarios include the following:
1.Acting defensive or obstinate
Okay, so you’ve received a customer complaint. Inside you believe that it’s unwarranted and unjustified. We all feel like that sometimes. We would like nothing more than to tell the customer they are talking nonsense and give them a piece of our mind. Stop! Don’t do it. You will be pouring gasoline onto the fire and things will quickly escalate out of all control! Your whole job as the professional—your whole reason for being there—is to be able to calm everything down. It’s part of your job description. You can never be a hothead with your paying customers.
2.Dismissing or laughing off any concern
If a customer comes to you politely with a problem that seems trivial, never just dismiss it and pass it off. If it’s bothered someone enough to bring it to your attention, you owe it to them to take it seriously. Importantly, you must show the customer that you are serious about solving it and taking steps to do so.
3.Failing to be friendly
Okay, so not everyone in the world is naturally warm and fuzzy in all their interactions. If however, you receive consistent feedback that you are unfriendly or distant towards your customers—take this on board and self-reflect on what you can be doing better. Seek out advice. Could you smile more, listen to a greater degree, or use a better tone of voice? We are all on journeys of self-improvement.
This links closely to the above points, and rudeness can sometimes be unintended—even by the best of people. Examples include cutting people off, talking over them, or even shouting back at them if a row develops. Remember once again, that you are the professional and high standards of decency are expected of you.
5.Not caring about your job
So you hate your job. Unfortunately, many people in today’s world also dislike their line of work. You could be burned out, poorly treated, or underpaid (perhaps all three)—but that is never, ever a reason to take it out on your customers. It’s obvious to all around when somebody doesn’t like what they do, and nobody wants to be served by that somebody.
These are just 5 all too common ways that things can go from bad to worse in the customer service world. Ultimately, a lot of the above is about showing empathy, compassion and respect towards your fellow human beings. Nothing less. Imagine yourself in their shoes, or at a time when you’ve been on the receiving end of a negative interaction. Don’t be that professional who escalates an already bad situation with your poor communication! Instead, be that hero who saves the day by being the exemplary communicator who is committed to delivering only the very best customer care.
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