Customer Experience Optimization … 10 Employee Actions that Lower It

Customer service actions that are remarkable get talked about. And getting talked about in this light is a great thing, right? No question. So to reduce customer experience optimization is a big no-no.

 

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

Before we continue, let me ask you a question. 

What works best for customer experience design in your business? We would love to hear what it was. Would you do us a favor and post it in the comments section below? Be the one who starts a conversation.

 

With the advent of the Internet, the number of marketing options available to both budding and experienced entrepreneurs has become staggering.

 

We often get questions and comments on delivering great customer service and experiences. From clients and customers commenting on our blog. Many relate to customer service actions that are reminders of what we already know (but we occasionally forget). These are big enablers of customer service. They usually won’t create Wow service on their own, but their absence is noted by customers and lowers excellent customer service to just good enough or less.

 

Related: My Best Examples of Customer Experience Stories

 

Here are eight well-known customer service actions that are effective in keeping us on track, so we consistently deliver what our customers want from us.

 

Much of how we help people deliver better customer service is with examples. These are fun and useful because we all have them (since we’re all customers.) And sometimes it helps to look at examples of things we shouldn’t say to customers. That is if we want them to keep coming back.

 

So, here is my top 10 list of actions not to take or things you should never say to a customer that we often use in client workshops:

 

Lower customer experience … following a script

Because scripts and checklists are all the rage now, employees are scripted to death. Many feel (and some are told) they are not there to think but to follow the script. And often that’s exactly what they do, even when it makes no sense and wastes the customer’s time.

 

When I hear a script, I wonder if the person has the capability to help me. Not a confidence builder, is it? If you have a script or checklist, pay attention to the real world too. Your customers will thank you.

Related post: Client Satisfaction …10 Secrets to Improve Customer Experience

 

not my error
Never say not my error.

  

Not my error

Never pass the buck or blame someone else, especially if they’re part of your company. You don’t look any better or smarter by doing so. But you certainly appear uninterested in solving the customer’s problem. Your time is better spent fixing and helping rather than blaming and finger-pointing.

  

I’m sorry if you feel that way

People often say this as an apology. But it’s not. Because it again shifts the blame to the customer.

 

If you’re sorry, then say so. Don’t qualify it. When customers hear an apology like this, they understand what you’re doing. You’re saying, “I know I’m supposed to apologize, but I don’t want to.

 

Related: Crash Course on How to Apologize to a Customer

 

A better option is just to say “I’m sorry this happened” or simply “I’m sorry.”

It tells the customer you are sorry for the situation the customer is in without making you responsible for it.

 

Customer experience optimization … just calm down

Is there ever a situation where this has the intended effect? Not that we can see. It seems like you are tossing gasoline on the fire.

 

More like they’ll get even angrier while they tell YOU to calm down. They’ll escalate the matter, and they’ll probably become a former customer.

 

Listen, let them vent, have them talk to someone else if they want. But never tell them to calm down.

 

 Recording: Your call is very important to us.

I hear this so often I ignore it. And that is how it should be. A recorded message is not the place to tell your customers how much you value their business. Do it with a real, live, caring human being. That’s a message your customers will believe (and respond to).

 

 Customer experience strategy … you made a mistake

We all know customers make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. But when you point it out in a direct and blatant way, you risk offending or embarrassing your customer. How would you like it? No blaming is needed. Instead, focus on helping them understand the right way to do things so they won’t make the mistake again.

 

 Talk to corporate office

If a customer has feedback, a request or a complaint, they don’t care who YOU have to forward it to. They don’t care that another person in you organization will deal with it. What they want is for YOU to take the initiative to get the ball rolling. It’s not the customer’s job to go trying to find the exact person who should handle their situation. That’s YOUR job.

 

Importance of customer experience
Importance of customer experience.

 Lower customer experience … it’s our company policy

With too many employees this is just an easy way to get out of doing something they’d rather not do.

 

If you want to help, then find a way. Don’t hide behind a company policy. And if you can’t work around the policy, offer an alternative or escalate the matter for the customer. If your customers see you are trying to help, they’ll be less disappointed even if they don’t get exactly what they want.

  

Please take a number (often when you’re the only customer)

If I were the customer in this situation, “huh?” is the only response I’d be able to muster, assuming I didn’t just walk out. But it happens. People get so focused on policies, procedures, systems and rules that they forget about a little tool called “common sense.”

 

 No one else has complained

This one always amazes me. Are we taking a survey? Are we voting on the situation? If enough other customers have a problem then you’ll listen to me (or handle my problem)? Is that really how you want to be perceived?

 

Of course not, that’s ridiculous. But I’ve heard employees (and managers) say this all too often. The problem is they are focusing on their perspective. They should be focusing on the customer and helping solve a problem.

Related post: 10 Ways to Employ Customer Experience for Influence

 

 

Conclusion

Remember one simple thing here: all employees need to view themselves as customer advocates, period. Customer service actions that are remarkable get talked about. And getting talked about in this light is a great thing, right? No question.

 

cust_service_experiences

 

Do you have a lesson about making your customer experience better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?

 

So what’s the conclusion? The conclusion is there is no conclusion. There is only the next step. And that next step is completely up to you.

 

It’s up to you to keep improving your customer attention and focus. Lessons are all around you. In many situations, your competitor may be providing the ideas and or inspiration. But the key is in knowing that it is within you already.

 

All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new lessons.

 

When things go wrong, what’s most important is your next step.

 

Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.

 

Are you devoting enough energy to improving your continuous learning for yourself and your team?

 

Need some help in building better customer trust from your customer experiences?  Creative ideas to help grow your customer relationships?

 

Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options to scope your job and pay for results.

Call Mike at 607-725-8240.

 

All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas to make your customer experiences better.

 

When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.

 

Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.

 

Are you devoting enough energy to improving your continuous learning for yourself and your team?

 

Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he writes about topics to help improve the performance of small business. Find him on G+FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

 

Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change.  We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.

  

More reading on customer experience from our Library:

Client Satisfaction …10 Secrets to Improve Customer Experience

Customer Orientation … the Worst Customer Experience Mistakes

Building a Customer Experience Strategy for Business Success

Random Acts of Kindness for Customer Experience Improvements

 

Like this short blog? Follow Digital Spark Marketing on LinkedIn or add us to your circles for 3-4 short, interesting blogs, stories per week.

 

 

Customer Experience Optimization … 10 Employee Actions that Lower It