Customer Service Mistakes Happen


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Even great customer service people make mistakes. Customer service isn’t perfect, but your perspective can make the difference in the outcome.

No matter how hard you try, how well you train your people, mistakes will still happen in customer service. There’s no way around that.

Customer service is an intensely human and personal service product. It’s not just a computer system working to complete customer requests, it’s not a physical product working a specific way each and every time. Customer service is human, and humans are imperfect.

It’s easy to be upset about customer service problems. But we all have the benefit of hindsight. Hindsight is 20/20. It’s always easier to look back on the interaction and point out the specific areas where things went wrong, incorrect decisions were made, or the right solution was overlooked.

Preventing future customer service mistakes depends on acknowledging customer issues, sharing relevant facts, communicating the impact of these decisions, and training the customer service team members how to recognize and act more effectively in the future.

3 Ways to stay positive when customer service mistakes take place

Maintaining this positive attitude is critical for managers overseeing customer service, customer support, and business operations. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. Here are three suggestions to help you maintain a positive outlook even when customer service mistakes take place.

Customer service mistakes happen, expect it

No one wakes up and thinks, “I’m going to wreck things in customer service today, I just can’t wait to mess up over and over again”. You don’t think this way and neither do your people on the front lines of customer service. Keep that in mind and it’ll be easier to stay positive when mistakes are made.

There’s never really going to be a day when some mistake isn’t make or when something doesn’t go wrong. So embrace it and look at it as an opportunity to test your customer service process and refine your ability to deliver a better customer experience.

Customer service actions make sense at the time they are made

“Why would you do that???” The answer most always will be because it made sense at the time to do it! If the customer service person who made the decision had thought otherwise, they would have done otherwise. Customer service mistakes often are made the heat of the moment. When it’s crunch time and the heat is on, it’s generally more difficult to make the best of all possible decisions 100% of the time.

Even great customer service people make mistakes

Customer service is one of the most human, most personal forms of doing business today. As more of the business interaction and transaction today moves online, customer service, even when delivered digitally, still remains an intensely personal human-to-human interaction. This leaves customer service open to human weaknesses. Bad days. Poor attitude. Lack of training. All can affect customer service delivery. Even the most talented, business-savvy, and technically-able people can still make mistakes.

How will you react the next time it happens?

It doesn’t matter what you think. Mistakes will happen when it comes to customer service delivery. It’s out of your control. What you control is the way you will react. Will you explode, adding to the damage that has been done? Or will you use this as an opportunity to learn from and refine how you and your team go about giving great customer service?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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