There are several widely held, common ideals related to providing customer service that actually run counter to corporate goals. Unfortunately, they have become so ingrained in our business psyche that many have stopped questioning their veracity. So, refuting some of the common customer service myths…
Myth #1 – The customer is always right – Nope. There are plenty of customers that are wrong. Wrong about a conversation, wrong about your product, and just plain wrong for your business. If you don’t know the difference between the right and wrong customers, you are wasting money trying to acquire customers that actually cost more than they are worth. What’s worse, you are likely demoralizing many people in the company. Nip that problem in the bud now!
Myth #2 – You should answer customer inquiries quickly – Fast service ≠ great service. But this isn’t necessarily true. Sometimes, it makes more sense to delay your responses so that customers learn to rely on themselves and the documentation/resources in which you’ve already invested. Most customers expect their vendors to provide rich FAQ and Knowledge Base content. If you are one of those companies yet you still reply quickly to simple inquiries, you are training customers to be (there’s no other way to say this) lazy. Teach someone to fish today. Plus, imagine the sense of accomplishment they’ll get from answering the question themselves!
Myth #3 – These days, social media support is a “must have” – I’ve been on record a long time as saying this is simply not true. Social media can be a tool to provide differentiated service. But the best tool in the world is useful only when it is well used. (A hammer will not help you much if you have a flat tire.) Your customer base may be entirely wrong for such an investment. Your company may not have the structure in place to make such an investment work. Since most of us want differentiation to be a positive thing I suggest consulting an earlier article on when to deliver an omni-channel experience.
The pivot point is to first understand your business goals. Only then will you be prepared to decide which common ideals make common sense for your business.
For what myths are you bucking the mainstream?