How to Rock Your Customer Service

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Scenario: "Dude, our customers love us. We have rockin' customer service response. We treat all of our customers like family. F-a-m-i-l-y. We'll make billions. Yay!" Most businesses think their customer service rocks; but, the reality: they suck, and don't-even-know-it.

"Oh-fo-shizzle?"

You betcha. For most of us, we're biased in how great we think we are. It's a reason why a chunk more than 50% of us think we're "above-average/super-good" in:

  • Our businesses.
  • Our communication skills.
  • Our managing skills.
  • Our looks.
  • And, of course: our customer service.

"But dude, my customer service totally rocks!"

If a crazy amount of your customers send unsolicited testimonials about how much you rock, you're probably kicking-mutha-$^^@!&-butt -- and we salute your badass. Keep on rockin' -- yet, know you can still improve. Most businesses however don't experience a tidal wave of unsolicited love mail. If you're in this camp, your customers judge your service as:

  1. average
  2. mediocre
  3. sucky-suck-suck

If you think that's you: Don't sweat. Take a chill pill. You have hope.

The solution to rockin' your customer service for eternity?

Think in two steps:

  1. Be humble about your service.

    You're probably not as great as you think you are. Humility drives you to improve, consistently -- even if customers already love you. So, trash those rose-colored glasses. Let your competitors wear them.
  2. Stick to facts.

    Bad businesses unfortunately adopt the "This-is-how-we-think-they-like-it" approach. For instance, say the majority of your customers prefer paying online rather than phoning your warehouse: Sucky business-builders: "No! No. No! They don't like phoning because they don't have our new order forms that make it easier to phone our warehouse. They'll love phoning. Yay!" Rockin' business-builders: "Reality says they care much more about their efficiency with an automated online system that saves them loads of time. Let's build it." Uncover the harsh facts of your customers' needs, then proceed accordingly.

Of course, those two steps are easier said than done. Use one of our secret sauces by guiding yourself with something similar:

"How much do we suck in: __________?"

That drives your company to improve a certain aspect of your business when you seek answers to that question. You start asking customers, employees, vendors what could make your company rock your customers' worlds a million times more. Then, you'll uncover powerful solutions to do so. It's the classic "Check yo' self before you wreck yo' self" philosophy.

For the Already-Fab...

That above mindset's vital if you think you're already super-good. Why? The moment you think you've "arrived," the moment you're slowly-but-surely destroying your customer service as your powerful competitive advantage. Companies that rest on their laurels experience the "oh-you-got-mutha-$@$^!@-own3d" effect: An up-and-comer/fierce-rival will snatch Goliaths' customers by exploiting Goliaths' passiveness. Just ask Dell. Viciously and constantly improve to combat those threats. "Great customer service" is -- indeed -- an oxymoron.

Embrace your suckyness as a means to rock your customer service.

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Posted on November 22

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