Monday, November 20, 2006

5 Worst Customer Service Excuses

So how is your firm’s customer service? If your customer service isn’t your strongest selling point, there are some steps you can take to improve your levels of customer satisfaction. In most cases, it’s called addition by subtraction—add to your customer service by subtracting the five phrases that are sabotaging most businesses.
Nancy Friedman, better known as the Telephone Doctor,® came up with the five customer service phrases that employees should permanently remove from their vocabularies.
1. It’s not our policy. “If your people have ever said this, it is going to ruffle the feathers of your customers. It is just that simple. Customers really don’t care about your policy. Customers care about getting the service they feel they deserve. What this phrase translates to is “We don’t care what you want,” Friedman said. That’s what the customer hears.
2. It’s not my department. Whose department is it? If you answer the telephone at your company, you have accepted 100% responsibility for that telephone call, and so has everyone in your office. If you pick up that phone, you own that telephone call. Instead of “It’s not my department,” try this approach: “I work in the paint department. However, I do know who works billing, and I would be delighted to get you the billing department.”
3. My computer’s down. Employees should lose the computer-meltdown excuse. Use this instead: “I’m going to need to take some information by hand, and it might take a little longer.” Employees can then explain that the computers are down.
4. I’d love to help you, but I was on vacation then. Do you think the customer cares? Did they ask you if you had a good time? No, because they don’t care. It’s useless to say that you weren’t there last Thursday because you had a day off. You simply say, “I can get you some help.”
5. I’m new. Being new is another excuse. Teach new hires the following when answering a question: “Please bear with me, Mr. Customer. I’ve only been here three weeks, but I can get the information you need.”

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