Chris Croft
Tips of the Month – Archive

Customer Care Tip 11


As important as the product or service itself

A customer service quiz for you

Why customers leave

Giving your name

The value of a customer

Why be nice?

Being an unofficial mystery shopper

Finding ways to delight your customers

A process for keeping it going

The role of management in customer service

An idea for how to deal with bad service

Here’s just a short idea on customer service.

We all know how important it is, in that it’s often the most annoying thing and the most noticeable thing when organisations don’t get it right. But should we as customers put up with bad service?

As you probably know, most people (allegedly 96%) don’t complain, they just quietly think about how they can go somewhere else next time. So the perpetrator of the bad service never gets to have any valuable self-improving feedback. Justice is not done!

On the other hand, getting to see their boss, or writing a letter, is often too much hassle - life’s too short as it is, and there must be better ways to spend 10 minutes than an unpleasant confrontation or a hot keyboard.

Questions are better than statements because they make the other person think.

So my latest approach is:...........

If you get bad service: ask them to rate themselves out of ten for customer service.

Whatever they say you win – if they think they are at 9 you can say “really, when you kept me waiting for 5 minutes and then said “If it’s not on the shelf then we haven’t got it? I’d like to see you at 5/10!””
If they say 5 or 6 you can then ask them "do you think that's good enough?"
and once again, whatever they say you’ve got them.

Official health warning – there is a tiny risk that you’ll end up getting punched, so you might like to make sure that there’s a counter between you and them, and plenty of other people in the queue behind you.

By the way, in case you think I’m all talk, I did this recently, at reception of a large Council. The guy gave himself 5/10, and then said he thought that was good enough. I was there to run a course, so I was there all day, so later I phoned his boss and told him that his man on the desk thought 5/10 was good enough.

Was that a bit mean of me? No! We shouldn’t put up with poor service, particularly if the people know it’s poor (“5/10”) and in the long run we are helping the organisation when we tell them.

Onwards and upwards


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