Do business people really say these things?

It is shocking what I hear businesses say to customers that reek of bad customer service. The same business will say, "We have great customer service." or "We pride ourselves on having the best customer service." Unfortunately, these businesses don't realize they actually have a problem with their staff NOT providing the kind of service the owner thinks is being provided.  Sometimes it is the owner them self who says something they think is harmless, but ends up offending the customer.

What we say and how we say it is important.  What we think we are saying isn't always how the customer perceives what we are saying. Below is a list of real-life situations that turned a prospect or customer away.

Here is a list of worst things to say to a customer:
“You need to calm down!”
Does this manager really think telling the customer to calm down will help?  This is an agitated customer who is discussing a problem with the manager and is not even yelling.  They are simply expressing their disappointment. When only 4% of customers complain, businesses should be thrilled when someone is telling them something went wrong.

“I’ll see if he can call you back.”
A customer wanted an estimate from a home improvement company, but before setting the appointment for the estimate, the customer had a question that she thought only the owner would be able to answer.  The gatekeeper stated the above to the customer.  This type of obvious gatekeeper call screening will lose this company a great deal of business.  This is a great example of perception impacting the customer service.  The customer perceived the owner was having calls screened and perhaps that is not the case at all.

“She’ll be out having surgery on Wednesday, so I don’t know if she will have a chance to call you back before then.”
TMI! Do not give out this kind of personal information.  Now the customer goes to another company thinking their timeline will never be able to be met.  This company lost a $4,000 job over this comment.

“I’m assuming you want to keep your teeth.”
Unfortunately, I get many reports of poor customer service in the dental industry. Here is one of them...A dentist who knows he is seeing a phobic patient for the first time and knows the patient has had bad dentists in the past says this statement to the patient on the initial exam.  The phobic patient takes this the worst way possible and is also insulted. The dentist then tells the patient to set up a consult to go over a treatment plan. Needless to say, this dentist lost this patient. The patient went elsewhere - to a dentist who wasn't insulting or scary. This was a dentist who believed he had exceptional customer service.

"I'm sorry that I've been unable to call you back over the last couple of weeks to set up that estimate.  We have been so busy..."
Here is what the customer actually hears..."we're too busy to provide good customer service. Additionally, by the time the company called this customer back, the customer had already been taken care of by another company.  If you are that busy, hire an assistant who can return your phone calls.  This screams disorganization and/or mismanagement to the customer.

Here is the unfortunate part…all of these businesses think they have great customer service.   
What are your employees saying to customers and potential customers that could be losing your company business? How can you find out what they are saying to ensure this doesn't happen at your company? Mystery shopping is one way. At The VOICE Customer Service Training we can provide you with mystery shopping services or provide you with the tools to do it yourself. Contact us today!

About the author

Beth Boen

Beth Boen is on a mission at The VOICE Customer Service Training - to restore the lost art of providing exceptional customer service and turn the tide on poor customer service becoming the norm! Her blogs contain tips on how to provide exceptional customer service in everything you do!

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