Why do we make customer service so difficult?
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WRITER’S NOTE: I began drafting this article while staying at a hotel on Super Bowl Sunday. While that was a few months ago, I thought I’d share some events leading up to the game that are as relevant today as they were back in February.

Wanting to watch the game, I called the front desk and asked: “which channel is the game on?” The response? “I don’t know.” Hmmm, I wonder if I was going to be the only guest who would want to find the one channel out of the 200 + channels available. No anticipation of customers’ needs. Not having lunch and wanting to watch the game, I ate an early dinner. The hostess seated me and said Ryan would be my waiter. When he approached, I proudly greeted Ryan to which he responded, “My name is Jed. Ryan took off today.” Now the hostess desk was about 30 feet from where Jed worked and she didn’t know that Ryan was not working. Why did she not know? Employees need the necessary product knowledge. The answer to the question posed by this article’s title is that people think they are in the customer service business, but they are kidding themselves. Th ey are not thinking.

Excellent customer service is the feeling generated for the customer because the delivery exceeded their expectations. Now here is the kicker: Many organizations assume/expect their employees to know how to deliver excellent customer service. You know the consequence of the “ass-u-me” formula.

Let’s go to an Outback Restaurant in Baton Rouge, La. Evidently the wait staff was instructed to respond with “my pleasure” upon being told, “Thank you.” My waitress said “my pleasure” more times than I wanted to hear. I played a game with her and thanked her multiple times after which I heard her robotic-like response. Not only was it annoying, it was terrible. Their staff training should address multiple ways you can tell a
customer “my pleasure.”


Western Equipment Dealer Magazine Summer 2017 Issue
By Larry Cole PhD

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