JS Tip 302: On Poor Customer Service

Tips from Jefferson Smith Training and Consulting

** From the Customer Service Workshops: Poor Service Doesn’t Meet the Expectations

Last week, we talked about customer service: “Service that exceeds the customer’s expectations.”

But what about the other end? Service that doesn’t meet—let alone exceed—expectations?

An example—

Charlie drove through the bank’s ATM lane on his way to work. When he got to the machine, he inserted his card and saw the screen: “Card Reader Error. Please try again later.”

He tried later (he made a second trip to the bank) and got the same message.

He went into the bank. The manager was on vacation. The assistant manager explained they’d had lots of problems with that ATM.

“So what have you done?” asked Charlie.

“We’re reported it.”

“But it’s not fixed.”

“No. Not yet. You can always use the ATM inside the bank.”

“The inside of the bank isn’t available at 6:45 in the morning.”

“Oh. Well. Yes. That’s true.”

Charlie expected the ATM to work; it didn’t. (He also expected to talk to the manager; he couldn’t.)

When you grow frustrated with poor customer service, consider your expectations. If they’re reasonable expectations (the machine should work, the manager should be available), you’re justified in your frustration.

Next week: What you can do when you receive poor customer service. Some steps. Some suggestions.

Hey. We love this stuff.

** Recent Tips

JS Tip 301: On Customer Service
JS Tip 300: Active and Passive Voice, Part V
JS Tip 298: Active and Passive Voice, Part IV
JS Tip 298: Active and Passive Voice, Part III
JS Tip 297: Active and Passive Voice, Part II


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