Customer Service Gone Bad
Customer Service Gone Bad
A positive customer experience is important for any business. Customer service is just a slice of customer experience but it needs to be satisfying. An example of a negative customer care service experience I had was when I could not get a new piece of electronic equipment I had bought, to work. I followed each instruction in the user guide and I still had problems. After calling the company’s customer care, the first service provider I talked to insisted that it was my fault and there was nothing wrong with the equipment. I asked to talk to the supervisor and the customer care agent became very rude, used foul language, and hung up. I, however, called back and talked to a different agent. The issue was resolved in a matter of minutes and I got to speak to the supervisor.
The learning skills that the first service provider could use are empathy, understanding and unemotional attitude. It is public knowledge that customer service providers do not always have the ability to solve every problem presented to them by a customer. The value of empathy, however, goes a long way in making the customer feel that the company cares about their needs. The first listening skill I would recommend to the customer service provider is listening empathetically and responding appropriately. He can display empathy by listening keenly and responding in a manner to suggest that he understands what the customer is going through instead of ignoring the customer’s concerns (Patterson, 2016). While he may not deliver a solution, he can always deliver empathy. The second listening skill I would recommend is being an understanding listener. The customer service provider needs to understand that the needs of the customer are critical, be familiar with the terminologies used and the technology. Being understanding means listening to the customer’s concerns without jumping to conclusions and defending the company and the products without getting the facts of the issue from the customer. Being an understanding listener will help the customer service provider to grasp the unique perspective of the customer and address the issue from an informed approach (Patterson, 2016). The last listening skill I would recommend to the customer care agent would be is to manage his emotions well so that he can manage the emotions of the customer effectively. He should be able to recognize his moods and how they impact other people. That way, he will be in a position to self-regulate and control disruptive impulses.
Based on behavior styles, I think that the customer care agent was too decisive due to some either self-imposed pressure or external pressure from his workplace. He seemed to be in a hurry to reach a conclusion on the matter. Due to the pressure, the agent decided to make decisions fast and this led to a bias because he did not listen empathetically to any of my needs nor did he address them. He disregarded any new information I gave him, consequently making a biased inference. He kept defending the company, its products, and himself. He did not have any interest in finding out more about my bad experience with the product neither did he provide opportunities for trying out optional solutions before concluding that the whole bad experience was my fault.
The main behavior I exhibited at was optimism and inquisitiveness. Maybe it was excessive optimism but all I wanted to get the best outcome out of the whole experience. Due to this, I was very inquisitive and wanted the customer care agent to clarify a lot of things concerning the product. I wanted to be given facts regarding the product, why it did not work as expected, and what could be done about it. I was seeking positive feedback and wasn’t ready for the rude remarks that I got in response.
The foul language and the rude remarks were clearly wrong and if I were the manager, I would first monitor the interactions between the customer care provider and different customers. On this specific experience, I would ask the customer care provider is what he exhibited was related to the company goals and have him apologize. If it was the first time for the agent to be incompetent, I would communicate what he is supposed to do and how he is supposed to act when responding to customers, clearly and explicitly. I would then make sure to document everything to make sure there is a point of reference whenever necessary.
I would recommend various system changes for the company concerning customer care service. The first recommendation is measuring customer satisfaction since it is clear that the company has the perception that if it does not receive high numbers of complaints, its customers are satisfied. The best customer satisfaction surveys for this company would be post-purchase and post-support surveys (Patterson, 2016). There are several types of surveys that will help the company to get answers from the customers. It is important to make sure that the survey used will give actionable feedback. For example, a post-service survey will help the company to rate if the service provider was helpful and if the customer was satisfied with the service provided.
The second recommendation would be having customer care providers who are tech savvy and can be able to handle clientele with technical needs (Patterson, 2016). Some customer care agents are just trained to talk and assure the client and cannot handle problems such as technological devices that have broken down and those that need detailed explanations. Customers needing such kind of assistance will have their needs better served by the tech-customer care providers. If the solution cannot be conveyed through a phone call, the service provider can have the customer present the equipment to their nearest stores for a checkup. This will avoid a situation where customer care provider gets rude when he can’t handle a customer’s needs.
If I were the manager, I would make sure that I listen to the frustrations of the customer attentively and show that I care. I would also let the customer know that I understand that the customer service provider was wrong in the way that he behaved. I would have the customer care agent apologize to the client and promise the client that I would look further into the issue and address it. I would then assist the client to resolve the problem. After resolving the issue, I would not stop there but continue with a good relationship with the client. I would, therefore, keep in touch with the client to make sure that she is having a good experience with the product after the support.
In conclusion, customer service is a very crucial portion of customer experience. Great customer experience leads to people having a positive attitude about a company and its products or services. Competent customer service providers display great listening skills in handling customers’ queries. On my negative customer service experience, I would recommend that the provider show empathy, understanding and manage emotions when dealing with customers in future.
Knapp, D. (2014). A guide to customer service skills for the service desk professional. Nelson Education.
Patterson, P. (2016). Retrospective: tracking the impact of communications effectiveness on client satisfaction, trust and loyalty in professional services. Journal of Services Marketing, 30(5), 485-489.
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