3 Ways To Not Stumble In Customer Service

My sneaks looked like this!

My sneaks looked like this!

I am 13 years old. I love the Spice Girls. With a brand new pair of platform sneakers on my feet, funded through hours of baby sitting, I venture from home to the school bus stop. In my town, we do not have side walks; we have horse trails. I feel a sense of hipness, like I might have a chance of being cool for one day with these new shoes, as I cruise down the trail.

My backpack is filled with textbooks and must weigh upwards of 20 to 30 pounds. I’m running late and pick up speed on the horse trail toward the bus.

I miss the dip in the dirt as I’m moving along nearer to the stop when my right platform shoe twists sideways. I do not fall forward but rather, my heavy backpack carries me backward, flat onto the dirt.

The bus stop is full of my peers. I lay on the trail and stare at the sky, wishing I could just fly upwards and hide among the clouds. Instead, I pick myself up, with my now dirty platform sneaks and walk with my head down to the group. They laugh. The bus arrives. Off to school we go!

It’s when we think we’re being the coolest that we most often overlook the important things.

In customer service, we can be really, really good at our jobs but if we’re not paying attention to the holes on our trail, we’re going to stumble. We’re going to miss opportunities to create an amazing experience for the customer.

3 Ways To Not Stumble In Customer Service

Mind The Gap!

You may know your product inside and out but you’re seeing it through your own eyes, not the eyes of your newly signed up customer. Take a step back and see your product the way they are seeing it. What is leading to their confusion? How can you explain this process to them in a way that allows them to understand? What feedback can you give to your development team to help make the product better? By minding the learning gap, you are single handedly closing the gap for the future.

Watch Out!

Moving too quickly, without considering what lies in front of you will cause you to land on your back, like I did in those platform shoes. As a customer service specialist, you must watch where you are going but also watch where the customer is going. They do not know your service as well as you do just yet and are relying on you for hand holding. Pay attention and guide accordingly!

Get Uncomfortable!

If you normally wear flat shoes then suddenly stuff your feet into a pair of platform sneakers, you may not be able to walk correctly. They may look fantastic and you may feel like Ginger Spice, but to your customer, you just look like you don’t know what you’re doing. Now, I’m not saying don’t wear platform sneakers (hey, I ended up living in those things for a couple years), but I’m saying, if you do–be prepared for uncomfortable feet. If your business releases a flashy new product and you’re not quite ready for it, it’s going to be awkward. Prepare your team through training before setting them out on the run way.

[custom_author=jenny]

Jenny Dempsey is currently the the Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. She's the co-founder and regular contributor over at CustomerServiceLife.com. She's also a self-care coach for customer service agents and leaders at JennyDempsey.com. She is the mother to a toothless rescue cat named Chompers. Avocados and veggie tacos are the way to her heart. Hanson fan for life.

4 comments

  • You always have the greatest stories and tie them perfectly into valuable lessons. Well said Jenny!

    • Thanks Doug! It’s pretty fun to take embarrassing situations and make them into valuable lessons 🙂

  • Wow, nothing but sympathy for you here, Jenny Sue. Did I mention the time I got hit by a car on my way to school? I was hit just bad enough to do the splits in the street and get laughed at. So there.

    • Wow. Thanks for this visual. I’m glad you were OK but wow, the splits, really? I shared this story with Danielle and Melissa this morning too.

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