Scaring Customers Away? Two Ways to Shine in Customer Service


Sometimes, customer service isn’t about selling a product and providing support in case of a malfunction or some other issue that ticketing system appears down the road. Great customer service starts with a completely new way of thinking.

Your obligations. Exceed them.

Customer service is work. Difficult, painstaking work. Like with all types of work, you need practice to be good at it. It takes focus, judgment and patience in order to turn a potential deadly situation around.

For example, there was a man at a food establishment that I frequent who demanded his leafy green salad with “no damn leaves”. Although a strange request in itself, the gentleman kept on that we’re insane to sell salad with whole leaves when all he wanted was the romaine lettuce. The poor clerk along with the chef proceeded to pick out the leaves from the salad, and the man was shocked that his request was followed through. He then, visibly satisfied thanked the clerk and gave her a $20 tip.

The lesson here is that the loud and angry customers sometimes spread the best raves and tell their friends about a good experience. The clerk and the chef, in a simple act of accommodating the customer’s request, also differentiated the restaurant from dozens of similar ones down the street.

A gift is worth a thousand words

Remember that pen and notepad you got when you visited your bank branch? Yeah, you stashed it into your work drawer. Until you had an impromptu lunch meeting, with no spare pens or paper in sight. With banking errands on your mind, you recall that notepad and quickly grab it before the meeting starts. Out of your colleagues, you were the only one prepared, and got a deserving pat on the back by your boss. Sounds familiar?

It’s the little things that count.

I know an individual by the name of Steve, who is a high-ranking salesman in a top of the line mutual fund companies in America. He’s a great salesman, listener and speaker, but more than that he’s always giving to his clients. Every single customer that signs up with him automatically gets flowers and a hand written card. He also gives and gives after that – everything from notepads, pens and little stereos. It wasn’t always like this, however. Steve was once a lowly salesman, but he always thought of himself as a professional gift giver. He shared his mantra with me once, “Everyone has good intentions, but not everyone can get them across. Deeds are better than good intentions.” It paid off for him in big ways. By treating clients as friends, they have come back to him to involve him in bigger and better things.

Just like in the movie Boiler Room or, a most recent adaptation of The Wolf of Wall Street – the protagonist used the best pitches and sales tactics to get the best clientele. It worked for a long time, since he used the best pitches, closing arguments, and in many cases the product was exactly as described. In the end however, a lack of sincerity and honesty in client relations is what causes the downfall of the most successful of establishments.

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