The Dichotomy of Customer Service

The fastest way to upset a consumer who calls in requesting customer assistance is to place them on a quick hold where they’ll repeatedly hear an automated message reminding them of how important their call is, and then leave them on hold for 30 minutes or more. Just add a transfer to another department once or twice after that and you’re sure to get one infuriated individual. Why stop there, though? Why not ask them to verify their account information multiple times.

Time and time again, consumer study results exhibit the dichotomy that exists between how a company proclaims they treat their customers and how they actually treat them. In fact, being placed on long holds is the primary foundation of customer frustration when dealing with contact centers.

The naked truth is that there is a massive dichotomy in the area of customer service. Those workers that ring you up at the cash register or who answer the telephone at a call center are often the lowest paid, the least trained, highest turnover workers at the company, and yet they are still expected to be the most serviceable and knowledgeable out of everyone in the entire business. Even though we all intuitively know what decent customer service feels like when we’re on the receiving end, everyone doesn’t instinctively know how to deliver good customer service simply because they were told, “You have to.”

Managers are accountable for ensuring that their staff is empowered with the needed tools to provide excellent customer service which can be accomplished through vigorous training and providing efficient support when needed. We can’t expect our teams to deliver excellent customer service if they’ve been set up to fail with poor training and lack of support.

With customer service being available on multiple channels today, it is so important to train staff to deliver quality service and know who the customer is as well as their recent account history to avoid forcing your customer to repeat themselves time and time again. Inconsistency across data systems can also cause dissatisfaction in a client.

Budget cuts are a reality to many companies, and with that comes staff layoffs. Reducing staff as the number of customer inquiries continues to grow, may also cause a strain on the quality of service many contact centers can offer. In other words, maintaining a good call center will become a challenge. Alhough, it is not impossible. So long as companies are willing to learn from their mistakes, they have the ability to improve service and grow together as a united force.