The Customer Service Dichotomy

Customer Service GripingMost businesses seem to lump customer service in the the “expense” category… and it shows.

Myself, I’ve learned over the years that it is DEFINITELY a profit center.  Especially when you’re in a “service” business (like a health club or even running online communities).  When asked how I think of these type of businesses, I always tell people…

I want people to feel about the business like they feel about a puppy… no matter what kind of day you’ve had, you know that the minute you interact with it, you’ll feel better.

Businesses SHOULD be havens for people, or at least that should be the goal.  However, as a general rule, that’s not the way it is.

I actually understand why a lot of business owners actually HATE their customers… I wrote about one piece of why in our VI community:

Here’s something to consider. Kind of a “chicken or egg” type of thing.

Are people trending towards “assholery” because they are being treated poorly FIRST at some point in the day and figure this is just “the way”… or are they just being a pain, which causes others to trend towards “assholery”. (I like my new word).

I’ve contemplated this about customer service.

As an example, MOST of the support tickets we get tend to be quite harsh. Fix my shit! Even when most of these cases, it’s generally user error. Not always, but most.

However, because Louise has a great sense of humor, she handles it with a smile and the person is delighted, thankful, and apologetic for their tone. Problem solved.

Yet, in another chicken or egg, what if Louise let one person get to her, then the next person, who is being kind and reasonable… what if she gave them a hard time or made snide comments just because she’s still pissed at the previous person.

Then that person, in their next support encounter with another company, feels like they HAVE to be an ass just to get things done/get a response. I’ll tell you, my experience with most customer service sucks… and I’m betting it’s because of just this. Good support people are getting beat up by bad customer experiences at other companies. The theme of “make a scene to be seen” is live and well.

I guess the point is, it has to stop SOMEWHERE. It may as well be with you 

Generally, I feel like most businesses want to provide good service, but this day in age, because of this compounding effect, it can really be a pain in the ass, so most companies bail on it… treating customers and clients like a necessary evil.

However, because it’s tough and hard makes giving great customer service that much more valuable.

Give that some thought before you go to work next week.

How can you help this “bleeding” in the company you work for?