Greek myths have stood the test of time by teaching us a lot, so they have their place. But myths in customer service? Not so much. If you’re building your business on customer service myths the chances of your business and customer relationships thriving are slim. We can no longer run on Customer Service lore of yesterday but adapt for the nuances of business today. That’s why we’ll look at the top customer service myths and the reasons they should be put to rest.
#1: The Customer is Always Right
We all understand the sentiment behind this one, but the truth is the customer is right until they are wrong. When you take this sentiment to the extreme, you’re putting your business and your customer relationships in grave jeopardy for the following reasons:
- If you think the classic Greek Tragedy is bad, it pales in comparison to what happens financially and productively to the business when you blindly assume that the customer is right. The customer may have misunderstood their customer service rep or some terms of their service agreement. Giving into unreasonable requests will set a precedent that could result in more exceptions. We’re not saying that you should never make exceptions but making sure the exceptions are limited is critical.
- The customer may be trying to take advantage of loopholes in your service terms or agreement. Repeated abusers may or may not be worth the continued financial loss.
- Siding with a disgruntled or abusive customer will result in Agent dissatisfaction because you’re essentially choosing your customers over your team. When agents don’t feel valued because they’re consistently put last, they’ll harbor resentments worthy of the Greek god Nemesis (look it up).
- Your customer support personnel must look out for the customer, and that means knowing when they are right, when they are wrong, and consistently providing the answers they need to resolve their issues in a way that is reasonable and is practical for the business.
#2: Your Company Needs to Be on All the Social Media Sites
This is a myth that just won’t die even though its simply not true. That’s because social media for business is like the sea, which is a constant in Greek myths: it is on one hand the source of great abundance and on the other a vast unknown where it’s easy to get lost.
On the one hand, you want to use social media channels to make it easier for two-way communication with your customers, but like the sea, you must take the right route to get to the destination. One of the main challenges to providing great social customer service is determining where to focus your time and resources. That means understanding your customers in the following ways:
- Do you know what social media channels they prefer to use, if any at all?
- What time of day do they prefer to use them and how do they prefer to communicate across those channels?
- What are their needs and wants?
When you understand your customers, you will be able to better address their needs and their expectations surrounding the customer experience, you can target the right message at the right time through the right channel so that your customer service is effective and doesn’t get lost in the vast sea of social media.
Myth #3: The Key to Customer Experience is Complete Focus on the Customer
Yes, we just touted the importance of the customer experience when busting that last myth, but you also have to consider the experiences of the Agent. Monitoring and improving the agent’s experience plays a critical role in improving the customer experience.
In fact, this Customer Think Article shows that 92% of customers report that an agent’s mood affects their experience. To create the right balance for both customer and agent requires providing holistic systems for data access and all aspects of fulfilling the customer experience in the call center. By making the job easier for agents, they can in turn provide the best customer support for the best customer experience.
Myth #4: ____________ Will Transform Your Customer Service
No matter what you choose to fill in the blank, it’s a myth that there is one magic bullet for ensuring top-notch customer service. The Greeks understood that any single myth couldn’t provide all the answers to life’s experiences, which is why there are so many Greek Myths. To provide the whole picture of customer service excellence you need the following factors in place:
- The combination of the right people, processes, and technology is a balancing act. But when you have the right amount of each, you dramatically increase the chances for consistently achieving service excellence.
- Continual evaluation and improvement measures directed by a Center of Excellence. Just like the gods of Greek myths continually watched over and adjusted circumstances in human lives, you have to continually work at improving customer service, which is never a set-it-and-forget type of thing.
- These elements must work together holistically like the three legs of a stool to be the foundation of great customer service
#5: One Bad Customer Interaction Will Ruin Your Business
Greek Myths are obsessed with perfection, but when it comes to customer interaction in the real world, that’s just not realistic. The occasional bad customer interaction in customer support is inevitable, and it’s a myth to think that any single one can ruin your business, so keep these points in mind:
- It’s a realistic goal to minimize them and study them so that you can avoid them in the future.
- Consistency is the key to ensuring that the customer support meets the needs of the clear majority of your customers.
- By developing a center of excellence, you can deliver the highest level of customer service, which becomes your differentiator in the marketplace.
It’s great to understand “best practices” and the “right ways” to do Customer Service from people who seem to be experts. However, it’s important to keep in mind that while the usual myths are great for keeping to tradition, the real Customer Service heroes are not bound by Customer Service lore. They are open to try different approaches and discover what works best for their customers and organization.