The whole notion of good old fashioned customer service seems to be disappearing quickly.
Gone are the days when you are blown away by someone’s effort to go way above and beyond to give you an experience. Most people don’t say anything anymore when they are treated badly as they think that there is no outcome if they do. Sadly this has led us to now accept bad service as the new norm.
Well I for one am a bit over the mediocrity and I think it’s time for a change back to proper service.
Here are four customer service styles that seem to be rampant today out in the marketplace which I want to highlight and hopefully eradicate.
1. The Ninja Service
The ninja service is probably one of the most common types of service we all experience. Like a ninja, ninja service is when you don’t even realize that service has even been there or a part of your experience when dealing with someone.
Every few days I stop at the same service station to fill my car up with fuel on my way to taking my daughter to school. I am yet to have had one word said to me by the person behind the counter. Not a “hello”, not a “how is your day”, not a “that will be $63 please”, not even a “thank you”. Nothing!
I would have been there at least twice every week now for over 2 years and been served by the same guy so one would assume that he would remember me but still I get nothing. So he is a customer service ninja. He does everything by stealth. Problem is, as a customer I am not only after what I purchase, I am also after an experience. A good one not a bad one!
2. The Skeleton Service
The skeleton service is very easy to spot. That is when you just experience the bare bones of service. You know, where it’s evident but just. This is happening all the time and it is my belief it is due to either lack of training or staff are being trained in basics of service by people who don’t really understand what consumers really want and like.
Recently I went to my local food supermarket. Now this place is huge. There are 15 check outs. The problem is they never have any open. This particular day I was there picking up something for dinner there was just one register open with a lady working her butt off to get through the monstrous line of shoppers lining up. Down the other end was the “self-serve” checkouts which most supermarkets are trying to get us all to use.
This is where I had a problem.
There are 10 “self-serve” registers there but they had 3 staff telling the customers which register they should use. As I have been on this planet for a fair while now, I’m pretty sure I can see what register was available to use. Not only were there 3 staff members there, in all their wisdom they closed 5 of the “self-serve” registers so that line up was huge as well. When I questioned one of the staff members as to why they were shut she said “that’s so we don’t get too many people through here at one time”. If they didn’t want too many people there, wouldn’t it be smarter to take 2 of those 3 staff and open up a proper register for them to serve the customers?
Skeleton service is a croc and should be stamped out of all businesses.
3. The Fool’s Gold Service
Back in the gold rush, fool’s gold was everywhere. Whilst it looked like real gold, not until it was tested could it be proven if it was real of fake.
This is how a lot of us have a customer service experience these days. Whilst everything maybe going well in our dealings with someone, not until there is an issue or something tricky pops its head up do we see what the person is really like in the service realm.
This normally happens when dealing with a “service department” over the phone. They have been trained to do things a certain way, which in a perfect world would be awesome, but the reality is all customers are different. Then when a customer wants a better outcome or feels like the level of service needs to be better the true nature of the level of service is seen in all of its ugly colors.
Service isn’t just for those customers who are perfect. It is also there for those who can be a right royal pain. True good service is what will win them over and calm them down, not fake fool’s gold service.
4. The One Size Fits All Service
The one size fits all service experience happens to most of us every day. You know when you go somewhere and you are met by an employee who just spits out the same old rhetoric? “Hi, how’s your day going”, “the weather is nice today isn’t it”, “oh I like that color on you” blah, blah, blah…
As stated before, customers are after experiences, engagement and to be really appreciated. The fact is, the customer today wants one thing more than ever before… choice! Unless we genuinely look after our customers and treat them well and service them to the hilt, they will find someone else that does.
This is why staff training, and I mean proper face to face training and not online training, comes into play. Businesses who recognize that staff need to be constantly update in the skill of service are the ones who are kicking big goals. Every time I spend time with staff in a business that has engaged my services to train their staff, the sales results the following week increase due to the staff paying more attention to their customers.
So there you have it. These are the four customer service styles that need to go. I am sure you could think of some more but if we all concentrate on treating our customers how we ourselves like to be treated when we are spending our own money then I am sure things would change for the better.
About the Author
Justin Herald is the Author of 8 International best-selling books, and the Founder and CEO of ReferUs which is a new way to get customers referring for your business. Justin also mentors over 100 business owners personally every year.