The unprofessional behavior of employees in customer service is one of the major factors that affect the image of a company in the eyes of consumers. No matter how good the quality of products of a retail store is, if its employees are rude in dealing with their customers, everything comes to naught. This is the reason why every employee must be aware of the do’s and don’ts of customer service. Excellent customer service brings customer satisfaction, and customer satisfaction brings sales to the company. Here is a list of 25 grievous antics that are detrimental to good customer service.
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Not giving options or recommendations
If the products that you offer does not fit the budget or taste of the customer, do not stop dealing with him/her. Give recommendations and other options to assure your customer that you are willing to help them in any possible way that you can.
Hiding behind the environment, systems or processes
If a customer complains about the poor quality of your services, never respond by blaming the environment or old facilities of your company. Acknowledge that you made a mistake and promise to do better next time.
Overselling yourself to customers
When you oversell yourself to your customers, there is a tendency for them to expect too much from your services or your company. Failure to meet those expectations leads to utter customer dissatisfaction.
Telling customers how you hate your job
Never admit right in front of your customer that you hate your job. Lapse of judgment does happen sometimes, but there is no assurance that committing it once will not cost you your job.
Putting callers on speaker phone without asking their permission
Before putting your phone on speaker mode, make sure to ask the customer for permission to do so. Putting his/her call on speaker mode without permission is like leaking confidential information.
Saying jargons that customers do not understand
Customers are not going to know your industry like you do. When dealing with them, do not use jargon that are grounded in your company or industry, such as abbreviations or unique and complicated words.
Treating customers as transactions
Customers have different needs and wants, and while there are standard operating procedures that people in customer service must abide by, they should understand that providing a “one size fits all” approach does not work all the time. It is always best to deal with customers with a human touch.
Expressing irritation or impatience when asked questions
Patience is a virtue that your employer is paying you to possess. Exercise it by being patient with customers (even the irate ones) and resist the urge to lash back with irate expressions.
Interrupting an ongoing call to take a new call
It is okay to interrupt a call once, but doing it the second or third time is already equivalent to crossing the “rude” threshold. When you have an ongoing call with a customer, attend to their needs and let the other call wait until you finish your ongoing transaction.
Rushing through calls
Customer service should never be rushed, EVER. The customer needs to know that they are important and the issue at hand will be resolved no matter how long it takes. This also applies to dealing with customers in person.
Eating or drinking while talking to customers
This is just proper etiquette, but you should never engage a customer when there’s food in your mouth. This also applies to engaging customers on the phone (trust me, we can hear you chopping away…and it’s distracting).
Lack of “please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome” when conversing with customers
Words like “Please”, Thank you” and “You’re welcome” should always color a conversation between customer service reps and customers.
Putting customers on hold without asking them first
Sometimes customer service reps have to put customers on hold. There’s nothing wrong with that (unless the hold is excessive). However, inform the customer that you will put them on hold and give them a short explanation why.
Having side conversations while dealing with a customer
When dealing with customers, a customer service rep’s attention must belong entirely to the customer and not shared with anyone else. Chitchatting with other employees while dealing with customers is one of the rudest things a customer rep can do to a customer.
This should be obvious, but ignoring a customer’s e-mail has “No” written all over it. How would you like it if someone ignored your e-mails?
Letting one’s bad mood affect his dealings with customers
We all have bad days and sometimes it’s tempting to bring that negativity with you to work (and let’s face it, it does not make it any easier when you have screaming irate customers who seem to care less about your day). However, a customer service rep needs to learn how to keep their in emotions in check and present themselves in a positive light (even if they have to fake it).
Requesting customers to call back
Some customer service representatives ask their customers to call them back. First of all, it’s always the representative that has to call back and not the customer. Second of all, if for whatever reason a customer’s question can’t be answered and a call-back is necessary, make sure not to forget to call them back.
Giving one-word answers to queries
When a customer asks a question, a customer service representative must answer that query as thoroughly as possible. A one word answer informs the customer that they are an inconvenience and further discourse is an unwanted burden.
Hanging up on angry customers
This should go without saying but hanging up on someone is just plain rude. Sometimes customers may call a rep in an irate mood (making it that much harder to deal with them). Nevertheless, remember, part of the customer service rep’s responsibility is to recognize and know how to deal with such people.
Neglecting customers repeatedly
Sometimes (depending on your work environment) a customer service rep can get side tracked or disoriented when they are slammed with people asking for help. However, it is important for anyone who is in customer service to be mindful of the requests of each of their customers. Delaying response times often leads to negative feedback.
Using abrasive words when talking to customers
It’s not always easy to deal with customers. However, learning how to be professional in spite of an irate or otherwise demanding customer is a must. When communicating, choose words that are courteous and always maintain a calm demeanor.
Leaving problems unresolved or unanswered
Customers always expect customer service representatives to deliver the promptest response possible whenever they raise concerns about certain products or services. As such, make sure the customer has received a proper resolution to their issue.
Lying about a product
Someone who is in customer service must make it a point to use descriptions and terms that are not only clear but truthful when describing products. Eschew vague descriptions as these are seen as untruthful and unreliable.
Unprofessional e-mails correspondence
Some customers opt to communicate with service providers via email than meet them personally. The problem is that some customer service representatives do not know how to send personable and professional emails. Even when sending emails, it is important to be professional. Make sure the e-mail possesses no misspelled worlds.
Not aknowledging customers in a timely manner
Customers should always take precedence in a customer service scenario. If a customer approaches you, acknowledge them immediately. If you are busy with another customer, take a quick second to tell the customer that is waiting for your attention that you will be with them as soon as possible.