Customers want to be treated to a courteous experience when they speak to a customer service representative. Weather it be a sales rep or an account specialist, the customer bases his future business on the service he receives. If a representative fails to be courteous, it is likely the customer will take his future business elsewhere.
Customers ask to speak to supervisors or even cancel services due to factors such as lack of concern, lack of knowledge and lack of relationship. Being courteous to a customer decreases the likelihood of escalation to a supervisor or cancellation because it quickly shows the customer that the representative has the skills to build a relationship. Most often, once the customer has calmed down, the more courteous the representative, the more the relationship between the customer and the company is repaired.
Relationship over Knowledge
Courteous representatives are able to build rapport with customers and make the customer feel their issues are resolved even if the representative struggles with knowledge. Customers want to be treated as valuable even if they bring a company minimal profit. Representatives who understand this work to build relationships that enable them to cover up shortcomings regarding their own knowledge. Due to this, the customer focuses more on the positive relationship they have with the company and not on minor issues with the information they were given.
Customers who are treated with a courteous conversation each time they call customer service have a better sense of brand loyalty to the company. Often one discourteous representative can cause a customer to leave, but consistent experiences will garner a customer for life.
Call centers that teach courteous behavior to representatives and exhibit those traits in their own leadership have representatives who are motivated and more often attain long-term, harder to reach goals. Quality scores and customer service feedback is positive, which drives a positive atmosphere into the call center.
An independent firm such as J.D. Power and Associates measures the customer’s feeling about the courtesy of representatives as they determine the ranking of customer support in organizations. Also, many customers report an organization to the Better Business Bureau if they do not feel they were treated courteously. Many potential customers look to these firms to determine who to do business with. Companies with low rankings risk losing potential business.
- Start-Up Nation: "Satisfied Customers: What Do Customers Want?"
- J.D. Power: "Efficiently Handling Transfers During Phone Calls"
- Tech News World: "Wireless Carriers Seek Churn Downturn;" Paul Korzeniowski; January 2005
- Overcoming Bias: "Hard Facts: Incentives;" Robin Hanson; March 2010
- Better Business Bureau
- customer service image by Kurhan from Fotolia.com