There are many talks around what companies should do to create happy customers. I suggest that we as customers share this responsibility with companies. To a great extent it is in our power to have positive customer experience wherever we go and whatever we purchase. So what should we do for that?
If you observe your previous customer experience, you will probably agree with me that in general there are two reasons your happiness as a customer fails – either you are unhappy with the product that you have purchased, or you are unhappy with the service the company provided to you.
There are remedies for each type of failure. By paying attention to a few things below, you can minimize the risk of ending up an unhappy customer.
To prevent finding yourself unhappy with a product, the following things can help:
Knowing exactly what you want
I remember a few years ago when I was doing a redesign of my bedroom, I was looking for a bed. Surprisingly for myself, I had such a clear idea about what exactly I wanted. I thought it out from every angle – color, material, size, shape, if I wanted a transformer or no, where exactly in my room it would stand and according to its shape, if it would leave enough space for other stuff in the room. The bed that I found matched 99% of my requirements and I bought it. In all honestly I can say that I never been unhappy with that purchase.
At the same time, I remember a lot of my buying decisions when I was feeling like “yeah, it’s time to buy” this or that product, but I was not yet clear what exactly I wanted, and in most cases it ended up in frustrations.
Was there anyone to blame? I don’t think so. If you are just feeling that you have some kind of need, but you don’t make it clear even to yourself what it is exactly that you want, how can you blame someone for not fulfilling your needs? Unfortunately, in my experience working as a company representative, I saw many cases of such unjustified customer claims. If you would like to avoid this kind of frustration and find out that what you bought is not really what you wanted, make it clear from the start what exactly you want to have.
After you made up your mind about what exactly you need, it may take a lot of work to find a perfect match, especially if there’s a competitive market for your product or service.
I would say, especially if you are looking for a service provider, rather than a product, you really need to invest a good amount of time figuring out all the specifics about a service offer.
It happened to me a few times when I urgently needed to open a bank account and I just did that with a first bank I saw in the street. In the long run, of course, this did not fail to bring me a lot of frustration, when I was gradually finding out all the limitations and specifics about this bank or my particular service pack, which literally made it useless to have an account at that bank considering my particular needs.
In my company at www.providesupport.com , where we are offering live chat service for websites, just the other week I got a call from one of our customers, who was so immensely frustrated with our service. He asked me where he could find a few particular features and I replied to him that unfortunately our service did not have those features. He got upset and started cursing our company, saying that our service was so bad and he was terminating contract with us and starting to look for another company. I apologized to him that our company did not meet his expectations. But in honesty, was there any logic in his accusations? We did not hide any information about our features. He never called us before subscribing to the service asking if we had those features. If he saw them with another provider, does it mean that automatically all other companies are supposed to have the same features? Obviously, no. I strongly felt that the customer was just looking to shift responsibility on someone for the work he failed to do himself. I don’t blame him, of course, because I have been in similar situations myself. But that made me learn that I need to take responsibility on myself, complete my research and make a conscious decision to buy a particular product or service. Only then I will protect myself from becoming upset and frustrated after the purchase.
To avoid dissatisfaction with customer service, you can try the following:
Compassion and patience with customer service agents and company representatives
All around the world customer service reps are taught to show compassion and empathy with customers, learn to walk in their shoes. Doesn’t the same apply to us as customers also?
Customer service is a two-way interaction, and I believe that both parties should feel the responsibility for making the communication experience pleasant. If I want to receive a positive experience, I take active part in creating it for myself and those around me.
Understanding that nothing and no one in this world are perfect helps a lot to make peace with negative customer service reps.
I described my experience with a bank representative in a recent post. There the agent was below professionalism in both soft skills, showing impatience and anger, and technical skills, lacking understanding of my request. However, I as a customer, avoided stepping down to their level and showing same negative emotions. In the end, it played very well for me that I got my question solved, and I did not leave frustrated, although of course, a particular opinion about that bank’s customer service was formed.
Being patient and compassionate when facing negativity in customer service helps not only to save your emotions and frustration, but also resolve your problem more efficiently.
Don’t take things personal
The moment you can say that you are unhappy with customer service, your opinion in most cases will be based on your interaction/experience with a particular agent. For once, just try to see the world through that agent’s eyes. Maybe they are having a bad day today, maybe they feel lack of energy to give their best to you. There could be millions of reasons, and most likely they don’t mind you, they have nothing against you. They just automatically shared their negative state with you, because they didn’t know any better way, they didn’t know how to handle this negativity within themselves.
Don’t you recognize this in you also? How many of us can block our negative emotions and maintain uninterrupted happiness? It seems like very few people can do this successfully. If you are facing negativity, but instead of being hooked by it, you try to respond to it in a positive way, no doubt, you will find yourself a happier customer.
I wish to all of you to always have a great customer experience.
If you have any personal tips on how you are keeping yourself happy though different shopping experiences, please feel free to share them in the comments.