…let’s look at the facts
I know this may cost me my “man card” but there is no way a man can compete with a woman when it comes to providing great customer service, period!
We’ve all read books about how to provide great customer service. They always seem to focus on the specific skills needed to be successful. Listening, patience, empathy, problem resolution and telephone skills are just a few.
Let’s look at the facts of why women are better at customer service than men…
When my wife tells me a story she adds details that no guy in his right mind cares about. But, no matter how convoluted it may seem, or what parts of the story I don’t care about, when the same story is told to another woman it makes perfect sense! They listen with spellbound attention.
My wife can go on and on with all the specificity of a big-city lawyer when explaining the most basic of situations. I don’t know how she does it!
For me I shut down, only hear the words I want to hear (which are every 4th one or so). My line to her is always, “just the facts ma’am, just the facts. Give me the short version of the story”. “No, no, you NEED to hear it all”, she says.
I must admit, how can men provide great customer service without listening to all the facts? Women win at listening.
This one is an easy win for the ladies. Men are as patient as a roadrunner. We’d rather dart around like that little desert bird in search of a meal than sit patiently gathering the facts and positioning ourselves for the best outcome.
How does having patience help with customer service? Well I guess you never had to deal with an upset customer!
“I don’t have time for this”, we’ll say. But my wife? She has all the time in the world…especially when it’s something SHE wants to do.
Here’s more proof…
Talking to the clerk at the dry cleaners when dropping off clothes, plenty of time. Waiting for me to try (in vain) to explain why I forgot to use the coupons when I went to the supermarket, she has plenty of time to listen…and make me feel guilty.
And, when my kids were young, braiding their hair and reading a bedtime story to my daughters, she ALWAYS had time and the patience for that. She’s a good mom. Women win at patience.
We are supposed to “feel the pain” and dissatisfaction of our customers when they don’t receive the service they believe they are entitled to. It’s not enough to just say “I’m sorry” to an upset customer; we must do much more than that.
Think of what a woman would say to one of her girlfriends when she finds out her boyfriend cheated on her…
“Oh honey, I know, I know. He’s such a jerk; he doesn’t deserve a beautiful woman like you. You can do better than him. I know what it’s like; my ex-boyfriend did the same to me. That’s terrible, you’re not gonna stand for stuff like that.”
“Come on, come on, we’re gonna go out. We’re gonna find you a NEW man, a man that appreciates someone as special as you. I bet there are thousands of guys just dreaming of a girl like you.”
That’s as emphatic as hell and pretty motivational too!
What would a guy say? “Come on dude, snap out of it. Let’s go to grab a beer…”
Need I say more? Women win at empathy.
Customers don’t want to hear the reasons why something went wrong, they just want their issue fixed. Policies, procedures, rules and regulations don’t matter to them, nor should they.
As a guy, I’m not in the mood to worry, let alone argue, for most things that seem trivial to me. But for a woman that’s not the case.
Most guys find a solution to a bad situation by just shrugging it off and moving on. They say things like:
“The sale ended yesterday? No problem, I’ll just pay the full price.” “The warranty on my computer’s service contract just expired? That’s ok, how much will the repairs cost me”? “There’s no more in my size? I’ll just come back another time”. We give in too easily.
But not our lady friends. They are tenacious and never give in.
You have a problem? The lady is going to find a solution, and will do so without having to go to this counter or speak with customer service agent after customer service agent. Need a manager? Heck no, women don’t need a manager to get things done. Maybe the “empathy thing” kicked in again.
Don’t know how they do it but women win at problem resolution, every time.
My wife can talk with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Good for her. Me? I can’t wait to get off the phone, especially when I’m home and some telemarketer calls. I’m not rude but I refuse to talk to them.
NO, I’M NOT INTERESTED!
That’s my line. He can be my long lost uncle looking to give me a million dollars but I wouldn’t give him the time of day or more than about 15 seconds on the phone.
But my wife? It’s amazing what she can do.
She, and others I’ve had the mesmerizing chance to witness, can answer the phone call of a telemarketer trying to scam her hard-earned money and strike up a side conversation in an instant about Girl Scouts, their favorite vacation spot or any other topic.
The telemarketer’s goal is neutralized by the woman’s own telephone skill set. A few laughs later she’s off the phone, never having to even say “no thanks” or “I’m not interested”.
How the heck do they do that?
The customer service industry is one of the most challenging in today’s marketplace. Only those with thick skin and a myriad of polished abilities can be successful.
But most women can do it with ease. No need for training classes or certifications, no need for “customer journey mapping” software or reading book after book from the leaders in this field.
They have “it”, its part of who they are and part of what is missing from the average guy.
Now, you may say women are better leaders than men or women are better parents than men. You may even say that women are stronger than men.
But do you still doubt that women are better at customer service than men?
The customer service deck is definitely stacked in favor of women…
. . . Perhaps. When you used Proven in your title, I assumed there was some social science research behind the assertion. I have no dispute that your evidence assures to you the correctness of your conclusions. But I question how extensible those conclusions are. If I had the good fortune of dealing with customer service reps who excelled at these qualities who all happened to be male, could I just as logically make the opposite claim with equivalent verve? Or, are you suggesting that the probability of that happening is infinitesimally small?
An interesting set of anecdotal stories. I wonder if there is any harder evidence that supports what many of use would likely hold as intuitive truths.
The American Psychological Association seems to disagree with us. It says that ‘studies show that one’s sex has little or no bearing on personality, cognition and leadership’. So know we know.
Unless of course, you know differently…
American Psychological Association, ‘Men and Women: No Big Difference’
Haha! Great piece – made me laugh out loud. I’m pretty sure you were describing me while you were describing yourself…
Whether or not the somewhat tongue-in-cheek stereotyping is true, it’s a fun and solid illustration of what it takes to be a great customer service provider.
Are women, gender-wide, more effective than men at customer service? Quite possibly. I’m pretty sure we’re not wired the same. Perhaps I need to hand in my man- card too…
As far as my wife is concerned, the only “logical” claim I can come up with is just as I have already done. Being “tongue and cheek” I do believe there is a general basis we may agree on regarding the aspects of listening, empathy and patience and how women do excel on. Whether there is scientific research to substantiate this, I doubt it.
We are a collection of our experiences, and learned skills. That being said, intuition plays a formidable role in ones personality and how we relate to others.
How the APA research concludes is another story. Thanks for your comment.
Our “man-card” aside, I whole-hardheartedly believe that the sexes are hard-wired differently, but for what skill/trait, I know not.
My assumptions “must” be correct based on the countless similar conversations with other men who all seem to have the same wife…you know what I mean.
Glad you enjoyed the article.
These funny anecdotes obviate why your your wife is better suited to customer service than you. In every partnership, one needs to contribute something unique to create balance. You’ve simply not expanded the discussion to obviate what she is compensating for – what thing you do exceptionally well. Regardless, I wholeheartedly disagree that women categorically outperform men in customer service. But funny self-deprecating stories to be sure.
My hope is always that lessons can be learned through humor, astute observation and a sincere intent to life others up. Providing great customer service should do the same. Thanks for your comment.