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Customer Service: Top 10 Things You Should NEVER Do

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/2/2006 | Marketing
If you're a smart business owner or manager, you know that to gain new customers and keep existing ones, your employees must continuously provide exceptional customer service.

Unfortunately, getting that point across to your employees, who tend to lapse into a coma at the start of formal customer service training, can be challenging.

Because the use of humor often helps to make training more interesting (and therefore more effective), let's borrow a bit from late-night funny man David Letterman. Share the following Top 10 list with your employees to give them a chuckle--and sneak in a little customer service training at the same time!

"Top 10 Things You Should NEVER Do When Striving to Provide Exceptional Customer Service"

10. Post a sign proclaiming "Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part!"

9. Laugh hysterically when a customer asks if you can provide requested information by the end of the day.

8. Put a customer's letter in the bottom of your In Box (otherwise known as the Black Hole).

7. Think about your dream vacation in Bakersfield while a customer is explaining what he/she needs.

6. Set a new land speed record heading out the back door when you spot a customer approaching with an "I have a problem" look on his/her face.

5. Do your famous grizzly bear impersonation when a customer interrupts your real job by asking for help.

4. Say "I'm working on that right now" when a customer calls to ask about the status of his/her request--while you're reading a tabloid story about celebrities who give their babies weird names.

3. Put your customer's call on hold while you head home for the weekend.

2. Use the following nonverbal cues while expressing your desire to help: sticking out your tongue, rolling your eyes, shaking your fist, pounding your head on the desk.

And the number-one thing you should NEVER do when striving to provide exceptional customer service...

1. Answer every question with "It beats the hell out of me" or "You've mistaken me for someone who cares" or "Why are you still here?" or "The dog ate my brain."

Here's one more important customer service tip you should share with your employees: everyone they deal with is a customer. This includes their coworkers, their subordinates, and their superiors (including you), as well as the people who buy your company's products or services. You can easily adapt the above Top 10 list to internal customer service tips by substituting the word "coworker" for "customer."