Join Jeff Toister for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding why customer service is hard, part of Innovative Customer Service Techniques.
- One of the biggest myths in customer service is that it's easy. Only the elite customer service professionals know it's really difficult. Just think about some of the challenges we face each and every day: difficult customers, inflexible policies, demanding bosses, challenging co-workers, defective products, and even our own personal limitations. It takes a lot of hard work to overcome these obstacles. The elite customer service professionals are constantly trying to get better. Unfortunately, most people are stuck on the belief that they're already good enough.
Business executives fall into this trap. A 2006 study by Bain revealed that 80% of executives thought their company was great at service, but customers at only 8% of those companies agreed. Managers underestimate the difficulty too. Many managers spend too little time discussing service with their teams. They don't give employees the training, coaching, and support they need. Even employees can underestimate how difficult it is to serve customers. I run an experiment when I ask employees to rate themselves on service using a scale of one to five and then rate the whole team on the same scale.
Here's what the results typically look like. People consistently rate themselves higher than the rest of the team. It's human nature for all of us to feel like we're special or stand out in some way. In reality, some people are good, some people are bad, and some people are just average at customer service. The really odd part is the people who are the very best don't necessarily give themselves the highest score. That's because they're never fully satisfied. They're constantly trying to get an edge.
This phenomenon is called the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Experiments done by David Dunning and Justin Kruger revealed that the people with the least amount of skill consistently overrate their ability. Even average performers believe they are better than they really are. Only the very best are constantly trying to do better. Let's face it, you probably wouldn't be taking this course if you thought you knew all there was to know about customer service, right? That puts you on the right course towards being truly elite.
Now, you're challenged to find opportunities to continue to improve and take your skills to the next level.
- Identifying the most important customer need
- Making wait time more bearable
- Improving your power of observation
- Avoiding directed attention fatigue
- Increasing teamwork