You’re Not Giving Me Enough Credit!
While I am extremely proud of the reliability of our service, service failures still happen. Sure we value quality and continuous improvement but we are still far from perfect. Sometimes there are prolonged service issues, other times they are mere blips on the radar and still others customers bring upon themselves and blame us.
Is it just me or are some customers magnets for these incidents? Inevitably, they will bark really loud and demand compensation for the issue that damaged their business. I’ll just be honest and say that sometimes it’s difficult to listen and empathize in those cases when it’s seemingly a select few customers over and over again. Sometimes I feel obligated to protect our company from being taken advantage of.
If you’re reading this blog post expecting me to present a neatly wrapped, three point solution, check back in a month. All I have for you today are questions. If you’re reading today with answers to my questions, I covet your advice and wisdom. Here are my questions.
Question 1- To be awesome in customer service, does it mean we have to continually credit the loudest customers when there are issues with the service we provide? What if they ask for compensation 2, 3, 4 or more times in a year?
Question 2- If the answer to question one is YES, where do you draw the line?
Question 3- Should I be thankful that these customers continually complain rather than just leaving for another service?
Question 4- In customer service where is the balance? I speak for the company and the customer. When the two are in conflict, who wins? Truly the company doesn’t exist without the customer but the customer shouldn’t take advantage of the company either.
Question 5- Is it right for the customer to hold us to a standard of perfection? No person or company is perfect right?
As I ponder these questions, I am convinced there is no clear cut solution. Each case truly is a judgement call and as managers, we must try our darndest to restore a good relationship with the customer. Having service levels with compensation guarantees for unmet service levels can definitely help. Ultimately, I am taken back to the need to listen with intent on understanding, be humble with the intent on learning and err on the side of the customer as much as possible.