Attention! (and Bad Customer Service)


Word of the Week: Attention

The word of the week is attention. As in, pay attention to what your customer is saying and doing. That’s part of the difference between good and bad customer service.

Quote of the Week: Customer Loss

There’s an often-repeated quote that says, “68% of customer loss is due to perceived indifference.” That’s bad customer service. If they think you don’t care, they’ll go somewhere else.

For Your Consideration: Good vs. Bad Customer Service

Janet and I recently purchased a new home. (It’s actually a fairly old home, built in 1957.) It’s a mid-century modern style with many windows, thus we need to install window coverings for privacy, insulation, and to block the sun at certain times of the day. I went to a popular blinds website and started a chat session. You can see a screen capture of the session in the graphic at the top of this post.

Maybe Kyle was actually saying, “Okay, I understand what you’re looking for. What do you need from me?”, but that didn’t come across in his message. Maybe Kyle is actually a chatbot, but in that case, the company needs to identify him as a bot. Regardless, it felt to me like Kyle wasn’t paying attention to me as his customer. He wasn’t listening. His response gave no indication that he read my initial message. Then, it took him 15 minutes to respond to my last message.

Chat is an incredibly useful tool for serving your customers and potential customers, as long as you use it correctly. As with all other methods of delivering support, it requires your attention. Respond quickly. Make sure to read their messages thoroughly to ensure your responses show respect. Ensure your responses answer their questions and respond to their comments accurately and completely. If you’re using chatbots, make certain to identify them as bots. Be courteous and friendly, but avoid small talk that wastes the customer’s time.

Good customer service is pretty simple. It starts with empathy. Put yourself in their position. What would you want if you were the customer? Pay attention to your customer. Give them your full attention.

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2 thoughts on “Attention! (and Bad Customer Service)”

  1. “Good customer service is pretty simple. It starts with empathy. Put yourself in their position.” Easy as A B C! The devil is in the details: commitment, planning and implementation.

    What would you suggest for “burning in” the culture/habit of excellent service for service professionals, especially the one-man or one-woman operation?

    1. Good question. Three behaviors: intent, awareness, and practice. By asking the question about “how”, you’re telling me you’re interested in improving your empathy. You already have intent. Intent is simply the desire and willingness to change. Next, practice awareness of how you feel about others, especially someone you believe is at fault for their predicament. (I really struggle with that!) Be aware of how you treat others. Do you put yourself in their position? Can you imagine what their experiences have been that led them to act the way they do or say what they say? How do you treat them, based on how you feel? Be aware of when you do it well and forgiving of yourself when it doesn’t go so well. 🙂 Then, practice what worked well for you on your empathy journey. Practice seeing the world through the eyes (and experience) of another. It’s not a matter of flipping a switch and suddenly becoming more empathetic, although epiphanies aren’t unheard of. Be patient with yourself (and others) while you’re working on empathy. It’s a lifelong process.

      You asked about “burning it in” when you’re a one-person shop. The same thing applies, whether you’re a sole proprietor or in an organizational leadership position. The difference is the person in leadership is doing this not only for themself but to model empathetic behavior for the team.

      One final comment, consider setting boundaries to avoid compassion fatigue. Thanks for your comment!

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