Why Do Companies Give Bad Customer Service?

Why isn’t every company in the world giving good customer service? Would they? Could they?

One moment please..If you’re like me, you have read hundreds of articles and books on customer service and they have all had the same theme. Take care of your customer and your business will prosper. Don’t take care of your customer and they will go someplace else.

Experts have preached it, successful businesses have testified to it and studies have verified it. So why isn’t every company in the world doing it?

I have sat through meetings with the music pumping, people clapping and the boss is shouting that this is a new day and we are going to win customers and grow the company to outrageous proportions. Go Team Go!

Then when you get back to your desk the sales manager gives you a list of instructions that is sure to anger the customer and lose business. There has to be something else. If wanting something bad enough or knowing specifically what to do made any difference then we would all have perfect bodies, great relationships and raising kids would be a snap.

It just doesn’t work that way. It would be great if there was a pill that we could give our customers that would make them want to do business with us. But there isn’t so I guess we will have to look at ourselves. Why is it that we know what creates business, most of us know how to do it and yet we still don’t do it? Here are two reasons that companies unintentionally give bad customer service.

We have a Contrary Point of view. A point of view is simply how you view, judge or appraise things. How you see things determines how you act. How you act determines your results.

In the world of Customer Service it would look something like this; a customer calls in and has an issue. Lets say that I see customers as people who will lie through their teeth to get what they want.

My point of view of the customer will determine how I act toward them. I am much more likely to be defensive and argumentative. The customer then will deal with me however they deal with defensive argumentative people. The result won’t be pretty. I was trained early on in my career that a good salesman always frames the conversation. That is to say that we dictate how the conversation will go.

I learned many years later that even if I am not actively doing so, I am still dictating the conversation and it is usually based on my expectation of the customer. Whatever my expectation of the customer, I will probably lead them there.

Our point of view is not a result of how the world is. The way the world is, is a result of our point of view. At the risk of sounding esoteric, “We create our reality.”

What I am trying to say is our customers are not out to cheat us, our boss is not out to get us and our employees are not out to ruin the business. If it looks that way it is because it looks that way, nothing else. Chances are we are causing it to be that way and don’t even realize it.

By the way a contrary point of view is why most mission statements are worthless. They are just empty words on top of how we know life really is. We create these really nice statements about service and teamwork and in the background we have all these other conversations about how it won’t work. If we were totally honest with ourselves our mission statements would look something like this: “We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of products and service to our crazy, lying customers as well as our stupid lazy employees.”

We are committed to something else. We say we want something but do we really? A lot of times we say we are committed to something when in reality it is the last thing we want.

Someone once told me that if you want to know what you are committed to look at what you have. This seemed like motivational jargon to me. Until one day when I was brutally honest with myself. I saw then what I was really committed to and it wasn’t success.

This was a hard pill to swallow. I couldn’t pretend anymore. I had to be accountable for what I had in my life. But if I hadn’t been so straight with myself I would have kept doing the same things over and over again and wondering why things haven’t turned out.

So I want to put it another way that may make sense. You are either committed to achieving something or you are committed to proving something else.

Look at what results you have now and ask yourself. Do you have what you are committed to? If not, does what you have prove what you suspected all along? Maybe it’s to hard, cost to much, not enough time or manpower etc.

Like I said, this is a hard pill to swallow. We don’t like to think that we may be the ones sabotaging our success.

I had a boss once who was a masterful negotiator and a brilliant businessman. However, he saw the world as very difficult and complicated. So he set up the procedures of his company to be very complicated and difficult to get anything done. Every day he would come into the office and skilfully negotiate through the difficult business environment. In the wake of that it left the rest of the company was very inefficient and ineffective and as a result we were losing customers in droves. He was out to prove that he had the skill to overcome all obstacles.

I hope this helps shed some light on things. My hope is you will start to see how much power you actually have to create your business and your life. It all starts with your perception. I will say that again. It all starts with your perception.

About the Author

David Farrell, Owner of the David L Farrell Executive Coaching LLC, is an Executive Coach, who delivered highest quality, individual and/or group executive coaching to over 400 Executives representing a broad array of organizations from government, healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, information services, and not for profit organizations.

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