The Conflicting Nature of Customer Service


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Bad customer service generally happens because there’s an inherent disconnect between the expectations of the customer and the demands of the call center.

But no organization sets out to make bad customer experiences happen. Although never intended, it’s too often the typical result of actions taken.

Dan and Chip Heath’s book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard offered valuable incite on what makes change so difficult.

The premiss the the Heaths make is that through neuropsychological research we come to understand that our mind consists of two main ideas, logic and emotion. Furthermore, that these two governing powers of the mind are in constant battle for control over us.

Opposing forces control customer service outcomes

These two forces are similar to a rider on a horse vs. an elephant. Theoretically, the rider always controls the reigns, regardless of the animal he rides. The rider sees the big picture, sets the course, and organizes plans to reach destinations. Yet elephant is a much larger beast and requires a completely different approach that riding a horse.

At times its instinct is to emotionally interpret situations and scenarios along the way, which can take control of the riders logic and steer the two off course. I see this struggle for control in customer service interactions between customers and call center staff.

My colleague Jake Quigley, who set out to start his personal development and professional coaching company Inspired Shifts, puts it very eloquently:

It can take time to reach a state of harmony between logic and emotion, usually because the former seems so straight forward and the later is difficult to interpret and proactively utilize.

Getting [individuals] to identify and understand the current logical and emotional climate and utilize them to their advantage can be a challenge.

If we try to completely control every customer engagement, we will fail. You can’t plan for it all. You can’t script every service situation.

Don’t carve policies, craft frameworks

The goal should be to provide a framework for a strategy process where opportunities can be take to implement positive change leading to results that both customers and corporations can live with.

Objectives, strengths, problems, challenges, and customer emotions are unique different to each customer, interaction, and organization. It demands a dynamic approach.

Understanding this inherent need for a dynamic approach to developing customer relationships is the first step 

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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