Customer Service Training Tips, Best Practices, and Horror Stories

You might answer the person who answers the phone, or the person who greets the customer when they come into your business. Well, it is not. It is marketing! Yes, the person or department responsible for marketing is the first line of contact responsible for providing exceptional customer service to your external customers.

"I just told you what I am looking for - why are you telling me things I don't care about?"

This customer pet peeve happens often.The fastest way to lose a prospective customer is to not listen. The best sales people are great listeners, not great talkers. Read More.

"What, am I invisible? I have been standing here for 5 minutes. Do you think you have a better chance at making a sale to a co-worker."

A friend of mine went into a store with her husband to buy a washer and dryer set. It was an urgent need as their washer had just broke. They walked into the store and no one greeted them. All the salespeople were congregating around the counter talking to each other without acknowledging the customer. Read More.

"No, I'm not a crazy lady. I'm just upset that no one called me back with an answer, like I was promised."

Broken promises in regards to follow up and follow through can cost your organization business. Many times, when the customer who was promised some sort of action as follow up to a problem doesn't get it, they take their business elsewhere. Read More.

"I already gave you that information when I told you about my problem. Weren't you listening to anything I said?"

Unfortunately, often when a customer calls with a problem or complaint, they are viewed as an opponent. When one views the customer as an opponent they go on the defensive, crafting in their mind what their response will be without actively listening to the customer. Read More.

"So glad I got your voice mail again after leaving messages the last two days." Said no customer ever!

Waiting for a return phone call and not getting it is a customer pet peeve that can cost your organization money. Returning phone calls and emails should happen same day, but never more than one full business day later. It helps to educate customer on the expected response time as well. Read More.

"Um, you only answered one of my questions in my email. Now I have to waste my time and send another email."

Who hasn't sent a customer inquiry email and listed a few questions in it, only to get a response with one question answered? Read More.

"Yes, I normally say, 'Your Welcome' in a loud and sarcastic manner when an employee doesn't say, 'Thank you.'"

Train your staff to say, "Thank you." Perhaps you can relate. Who hasn't gone to the grocery store and the check out clerk is unfriendly and never says, "Thank you." Read More.

"Please take my problem seriously. I'm the one customer who cares enough to give you the opportunity to correct it and keep my business."

Statistics show that for every one complaint, 26 others remain silent (source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs). Additionally, only 4% of unhappy customers complain the rest just go away. Read More.

"Great idea to use an automated phone tree to save money. Too bad it doesn't work and you just lost me as a customer."

According the a 2011 American Express Survey, 67% of customers hang up out of frustration because they couldn't get to a real person. Many phone trees have dead ends or even places where the customer gets disconnected. Read More.