The 3 B’s of poor customer service

The 3 B’s of poor customer service

October 22, 2014

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It s an established notion that for customer service to be deemed successful, the business must be able to deliver what the customer requires. This is why first-contact resolution and other results-based metrics are strictly aimed by Philippine call centers and customer care units of most companies.

Problems should indeed be countered with an effective fix, and most of the time, how the representatives handle the case plays a big part in the solution. The choice of words and the way they are delivered are indeed crucial in appeasing anger and frustration. Even in hopeless situations where there s nothing that can be done to completely repair a damage, complainants still end up satisfied with how companies faced their concerns. An apologetic tone and a positive vocabulary can go a long way on customer service.

On the flip side, there are words and attitudes that spell out bad customer care, which can be summarized into the following.

1. Blaming

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Blaming means that you re finding excuses for why you can t do something and also reflects an aversion to responsibility.

While explaining what caused a problem is part of giving an answer, customers don t really care much about who they should point their fingers at. They brought the case to you in hopes of getting a solution, not to find out who to blame. So, even if you re not at fault, the problem is already yours to solve.

For the customers, the point of customer support is for you to fix their issue and not to divert their anger to the power company where the outage started, the courier that got delayed, and most especially, to their own misuse of the product. So show them more of how much you want to take action instead of how little you care about an issue.

2. Busy

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Saying that your team is too busy could mean several things; and for customers, they re all negative. Being busy means that they have to wait before they get their issues resolved. Ultimately, being busy and unavailable tells your customers that they are not prioritized.

There also are many ways to avoid giving callers these impressions. For one, you could multi-channel your customer service by having web-based tools or self-service platforms where customers can get answers on their own. Reviewing your staffing and scheduling systems could also help find out if you have enough people at hours when call volume peaks or if you assign the right agents for minor and complicated tickets.

3. Buts

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Like blaming, saying “but” removes the hope and any positive thing you said prior to saying this word.

“We can process your order, but it will take a while.”

“We have a branch near your location, but it won t open until 8:00 AM”

See how it cancels out the positive answer and immediately turns it into a “no?” Avoid displaying incapacity by only saying absolute statements about what you can possibly do. So to rephrase the no statements above, say “We can definitely process your order in five minutes,” or “Our branch near your location will open at exactly 8:00 AM”

We re not really saying that these words and answer should be avoided at all costs. What you can do is find a better way of explaining the situation to keep your customer service unit from gaining labels of inadequacy, incapability, and inaccessibility. Always go for the positive, empathetic tone and attitude when solving customer concerns.

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