In business, it is crucial to cultivate positive relationships with customers to win their loyalty. This relationship is built through constant engagement and interaction between the company and customers. These interactions are usually with the front line staff or service reps and they impact on the quality of the customer’s experience in the.
While service reps are encouraged to make each customer interaction as lively as possible (especially in face-to-face scenarios), It is important that they pick their topics of conversation carefully. Here are 7 things a customer service professional should never discuss with a customer.
#1. Never Give Your Customers Information On Your Financial Situation.
Information on your personal finances is private. Do not share information on how much or little you earn or invite the customer to give you advice on managing your income. It gets even worse if you attempt to use your financial situation to justify your inability to render quality service with comments like;
“I’m not paid enough to do that”
If you feel you are not being paid fairly, make a career move to somewhere better or make efforts to add more value to yourself. Your finances are your responsibility and not your customer’s problem.
#2. Don’t Tell Your Customer Anything, Your Employer Considers ‘Confidential’
Sharing confidential information with a customer can compromise information security in an entire organization. This can spell disaster for the organization as a whole, as well as other customers.
Most organizations have policies that guide how breaches of confidentiality are handled. Contravening information security policies can end your career as it is considered a ‘dismissible’ offense in a lot of organizations, it can also lead to litigation.
Adhere to your employer’s policy on information confidentiality and give customers only information that they ‘need to know’. No matter how close you are to the customers, some information are simply not necessary for them to know.
#3. Don’t Pass On Negative Information about Your Organization
When you have formed strong relationships with customers, you may feel the urge to tell them about the MD/CEO’s mail about something sensitize affecting the organization. While you might think you’re doing the customers a favor, most will see it as an indicator that it’s time to move to a more ‘stable’ competitor.
This is important especially for financial institutions, where sensitive information managed poorly can lead to disasters like a bank run (which occurs when a large number of bank customers withdraw their deposits because they believe the bank might fail).
#4. Never Tell Your Customer About Crisis In Your Personal Life
Your customers do not need to know your husband doesn’t appreciate you, how your girlfriend ran off with your best friend, or about the recent break up you had. Leave the customers out of the drama in your social & personal life, they have their own problems to deal with, and most likely came to you for a solution to one of them.
Getting customers involved in such personal subjects is downright unprofessional, not to mention the fact that it can lead to discomfort and awkwardness. This can reduce the quality of the customer’s experience.
#5. Do Not Criticize Your Co-Workers To Your Customer.
Avoid bad mouthing your colleagues to your customers. If there is a service failure which occurs because a colleague or department failed to live up to their obligation, the customer doesn’t need to know about it. Apologize and handle the service failure professionally.
Avoid making comments such as:
“I don’t know what they’re being paid for”
“That’s what they always do”
“They never get it right!”
While you may think you’re scoring a quick point with the customer by letting him see it’s really not your fault, you are also casting doubts on the competence of your organization.
#6. Never Tell Your Customer About Your Romantic Attraction To Them.
Along the way in your relationship with customers, you might find yourself developing romantic feelings them. If you are not sure about your feelings/intentions with the customer, DO NOT share that information with them.
Suppress the urge to speak or act on it, in some industries, it is considered unethical to have relationships with customers. If you believe strongly that you attracted to the customer and the feeling is mutual, then you can;
You can consult with your employer to see if there will be conflicts of interest
If yes, get a job elsewhere and proceed with your intentions
#7. Never Tell Your Customer Anything About Your Organization That Would Look Bad On Social Media
If you knew that a particular thing you say to a customer would end up going viral for the wrong reasons on social media, would you say it?
Telling the customer how you think your married boss likes you, or about how a top executive got drunk at an office party last Friday is not necessary, and it would not look too good for the brand image, especially if it goes viral on social media.
Keep this image in mind whenever you start feeling chatty and open with your customers. Imagine your company name trending on twitter (with all the condescending internet memes), and top executives resigning due to negative publicity as a result of something you said innocently to a customer. Would you be proud of yourself? I doubt.
Even though customer service professionals are expected to build positive relationships with customers, it is important to always remember that the relationship is a business relationship, the customer doesn’t need to know everything!
This post originally appeared on www.cxservice360.com