”Businesses Lose $75 Billion Due To Poor Customer Service.”

This stat, quoted in a recent Forbes article about a report by New Voice Media, shares that the cost of poor customer service is up a massive $13 billion since the last report in 2016.

I recently experienced such a shocking attitude in a restaurant that it actually made me cry.  First time ever, and I can’t even blame it on too much wine!
As a Brit, I am generally quite forgiving and have a wide threshold, giving people a chance to do well and make things right when my experiences aren’t up to scratch.  But now and again you come across such shocking coldness, rudeness and apathy that you can’t help but raise it!
Apparently “serial switching” (customers switching due to poor customer service) is on the up, 67% of us do it, and it has increased by 37%.  The Forbes article discusses the fact that brands and companies need to do more than just offer the best product at the best price.  To really compete they need to create “the positive, emotional experiences that drive customer loyalty.”
My experience of poor customer service is generally with people rather than product.  You either get the selfish, moaning, negative unprofessional person or the arrogant, cold, challenging, defensive person.  In my recent tearful evening, the service had been so poor throughout the meal that I decided to speak out and asked for the manager…only for the manager to behave like the latter described here.  Cold.  Defensive.  I was so utterly shocked and flabbergasted that I couldn’t pay and get out of there fast enough!  I’d never name the establishment here – that’s just unprofessional – but the experience has really opened my eyes to the acute challenges in some human beings and their utter disconnection with emotion in other people.  Especially their customers!

In the New Voice Media survey, 86% of customers surveyed said that if there was a positive emotional connection with a customer service agent, they would be willing to continue to do business, only 30% felt that companies currently do that.

The importance of a positive emotional and human connection is highlighted:  “Satisfactory is a rating. Loyalty is an emotion.” Creating an emotional connection in any environment and especially a customer one is incredibly easy, even with the most angsty of customers.  I’ve listed Courageous Success’s top tips below for creating one.  Ultimately, we know that being authentic, opening your gate and letting your guard down with genuine compassion and like for another person will win them over.  Even if they hate your product, they don’t have to hate you!
I know that some of you will be desperately trying to find out who made me cry – lol.  Rest assured that the universe gave me an incredible example of the worst in not being yourself at work that I have ever experienced.  And that’s useful!

Top tips to create emotional connection at work & with customers; 

  1. Remember what you are there for.  To make money and make people happy.  You’ll make more of the former if you focus on more of the latter.
  2. Show people that you like them.  Mean it.  People are always good, from an iAM Values perspective.  See through the challenge and complaint and don’t make this about you or blame others for a challenge.  Be open and listen.
  3. Most of us don’t enjoy conflict.  When we create it,  most of the time we just want to be heard, be sympathised with and be reassured.  So do just that.
  4. Deliver whatever you do as if it were for your most favourite person in the world.  Whether you answer the phone, open doors, drive a taxi, lead a factory, do the accounts.  Do it at your very best and make it your mission to make those around you even happier.
  5. Deliver specialness.  Practice asking people about themselves, rather than making the conversation about your experiences.  This is not a battle or competition that you have to win.
  6. Just be yourself, use your natural self, the same person at work as at home and only interact with people as you’d love to be interacted with. #beyourselfatwork
  7. Consider: what is my personal impact on others? What am I radiating to others?  Am I connecting positively and emotionally with people?

Psychology research tells us that giving social support makes us feel good too!  We get greater brain benefits from giving than receiving – our brains are wired to feel rewarded more for magnanimity and selflessness than for meanness and selfishness.