Customer Care Requires Using the Right Words

Katie Highsmith, WDUN host of "The Local Hour," who interviews me every Monday morning

Notice that I use the term “customer care” in this blog post title rather than “customer service.” Why? Because–as I explained to my weekly WDUN host Katie Highsmith–you can service someone without caring for them. We’ve all seen that happen.

To assure that you are providing the level of customer service that your clients want, need, and expect, you have to know the “10 things your customers don’t want to hear. . .and what to say instead.”

Katie and I opened the interview with a very timely topic: How Steve Jobs handled the widespread customer complaints following the release of the much-publicized iPhone4. We described the technical flaws, and how Apple took steps to remedy the resulting problems and discontent.

Next, Katie asked me to give a good example of excellent customer service I had experienced recently. I described how my cable company came to the rescue quickly when the Internet went down on a weekend.

From that launching point, we identified several mistakes companies make in talking with customers. Among the worst comments we listed:

“That’s not my job.”
“That’s against our policy.”
“Can’t help you now, it’s closing time.”
“Well, you’re in the wrong place for what you want. I’m going to tell you how to get to the department you need.”
“What? You really haven’t heard about our product until now?”
“Gosh, you’re the first person who has ever complained about our service.”

However, we went beyond merely saying that those words and phrases offended customers. More positively, we suggested what company representatives should say instead of those irritating remarks.

Katie’s interview with me lasted eleven minutes. You might consider playing the audio interview in a staff meeting, even in department wide meetings, and then generating feedback from the group. Doing that could lead to happier customers. As we all know, happier customers spend more themselves. . .and bring in additional customers.

Additionally, Katie asked me to elaborate on my professional connections with the acknowledged worldwide king of customer care, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. To learn more about the Ritz-Carlton selection and training of employees, here’s the link to the Special Report I wrote about the hotel for Expert Magazine.

In that article series, you’ll see how the Ritz-Carlton developed its legendary tradition of “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.”

“How to Give Magnificent Customer Care” is an audio CD that will give you and your company powerful guidelines for keeping your clients enthusiastic about your products and services. Use this link to my online shopping cart. (Note: The CD is available only for United States residents, due to prohibitive international shipping costs.)

Now, to hear my interview with Katie, click the arrow below in the Podcast section of this blog page, located just above the Audio MP3 lettering.

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