As a company that delivers customer service every day, I have a strong response to customer service done badly. So, as I found myself mired in a customer service nightmare in dealing with a cable/internet service provider (shocker!), I was moved to consider some of the core attributes account and service representatives in any business should strive to exhibit when dealing with customers. Although these are basic tenets, together they create an ideal customer service experience that is easy for the newest customer service person to understand. There’s an acronym to help keep these attributes top of mind – THE CURE.
Look to transfer the onus of the problem from the customer to you. Take ownership of the issue and assure the customer you are taking personal responsibility for resolving it on their behalf.
Communications should be clear, direct, open and transparent. Don’t read from a script, and stick to the facts.
Exhibit the capacity to understand or feel what the customer is experiencing from THEIR frame of reference. Put yourself in their shoes, show them you genuinely care and are on their side.
Keep your cool and address the situation in a pragmatic manner. Instill confidence that they’ve come to the right place for help.
Your customer is hurting, and would like relief as soon as possible. Let them know you understand their pain and will work diligently to make it go away.
Never patronize, condescend or make excuses. Respect your customer’s intelligence and time. Treat them the way you’d like to be treated.
Be sincerely upbeat and engaged. Transmit positive energy and let customers know they are dealing with somebody who is on task and gets things done.
I know, I know, delivering consistent, quality customer service is a complex and difficult challenge. And, I am not suggesting that adhering to the above seven attributes is a simple panacea for the problem. I do believe they represent good touchpoints to review regularly to insure your dealings with your customers are laid on a solid behavioral foundation.