Seven Deadly Sins of Customer Service


Customers need to feel that you are concerned for them. Demonstrating indifference by not asking questions about them or their business is a major turn-off for customers. Going into solution mode before properly understanding a customer’s problem is a sure sign of disinterest.


Customers must feel welcome in their dealings with you. Unwelcoming foyers and offices turn customers off. What is welcoming is different from segment to segment. A receptionist with multi-coloured hair and visible body piercings creates an inhospitable environment in a business hotel. It may create a welcoming environment in a tattoo parlour.


Just saying the words, “Have a nice day” does not constitute great customer service. Body language, tone and pace of voice all have an impact above and beyond the words spoken. Acknowledging people with eye contact and a cheery “Good morning” creates a feeling of civility. Even in your most frequent of customers.


The mood of your customer has the greatest impact on their perception of service. Their mood is created by a myriad of previous interactions. Their perception of your service lifts or plunges, depending on your attitude. Having a positive attitude lifts people’s moods. Having a scowl on your face plunges their mood further down.


Being ignorant of your customer’s needs, and which of those needs is the most pressing problem, simultaneously creates under and over servicing. In the first case, it creates low satisfaction; in the second, unnecessary costs.


“Thank you for waiting, your call is important to us”, played on a loop intertwined with music depresses a customer’s mood. At a time of all-pervading communication technology, we communicate more poorly than ever before. Be available when the customer needs you. Help the customer buy. Make self service easy. Do the foregoing things and you will solve a customer problem that plagues almost all customers.


Three failures of follow-up invalidate much of the goodwill that a successful sales process engenders. Failing to follow through on a major purchase allows buyer’s remorse to set in. Failure to follow through on a promised action invalidates any concern the customer felt you had for them and plunges their mood downwards. So does failure to deliver the quality or quantity of product in the time specified.

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