Customer Service is Just a Conversation Under Another Name

Following my recent posting tied to the Cluetrain Manifesto, I have been thinking about the the concept of conversations and its various facets. Discourse is conducted between individuals, and one shouldn’t forget that service is also managed (for the most part) by human beings.

Maybe due to a pride I have in offering the same customer service I would expect myself, this has caused me to lament recent experiences where apparently others do not necessarily hold that same benchmark. Maybe such people expect no more than they offer themselves.

Here the intention is not to spell out why a customer is experiencing bad service, but what impressions a customer receives when being served improperly. After careful thought, these four categories below summarize my experience, and I welcome any suggestions to enhance the list below.

  • Intimidation – “How dare you ask for a refund”
  • Avoidance – After staring at a clerk for over 20 minutes behind his desk, the person finally acknowledges your presence and says “Is anyone helping you?” The only reason the clear responded at all is because he inadvertently looked up and mistakenly made eye-contact with you
  • Lethargy – How often have you been ‘serviced’ by an individual, where you know full well they could care less about you and/or your wishes. When I run across a situation like this, my biggest wish is restart the scenario like rebooting a computer, hoping that I land at any other counter that the one I’m at right now.
  • Lying – The worst is when you know more about the product than the employee, and that person tells you anything expecting you to believe it. I’ve noticed lying is rarely a singular act but comes in multiples.

I feel better already just by performing this cathartic exercise..