Why is Customer Service so difficult?

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Over the last week, we have encountered a variety of poor customer service which ranged from downright appalling or just did not wow us.

We recommended an online food supplier to our daughter and as a result, she had a voucher code for a discount.  When this was not applied we emailed and called and got no response.  When we did finally manage to speak to a real person, after explaining the problem, the phone went dead which probably meant the advisor felt the call would take too long which would impact poorly on his call times.  When we called back, another advisor blamed us, the customer, for putting the wrong details into the order.  This is still outstanding and the experience detracts from the great product we are receiving.  All it needed was for someone to take responsibility for sorting it out and reassuring us to this effect.  Not difficult!

We picked up some documentation from a high street retailer where we’ve been a client for around 10 years and placed a number of valuable orders with them.  We had our 10 month old grandson with us and whilst you could not fault the efficiency of the service, there was little warmth and no engagement, (the baby is the obvious link to this).  As a result of this and previous interactions which have not ‘wowed’ us, our next big purchase in this area has been placed through a competitor who has gone over and above expectations with another member of our family.

We have other examples but I guess you get the picture.  Customer service should not be this difficult.  It is about taking an interest in the customer, ownership of problems and using ‘small talk’ to build the relationship.  Training certainly helps with this,  but a lot of it is about people skills and taking a real interest in people, skills that training courses cannot help!

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