Lack of senior management attention and commitment is often the main reason for customer service problems in many organizations.

Front line customer service  personnel are not inherently lazy, or insensitive. Customer service personnel are put in a position where they are unable to respond to customers the way they would like to, due to policies set by upper management. After trying to get policies changed, and failing, they fall into a rut and just do the best they can. Hence their attitude of indifference or not caring. It is painful for them not to be able to respond in a way that would please the customer.

Customers who are unhappy generally have expectations of the company who sold them something. The expectations may be created by the company by its advertising, product promotion, web sites or they may created by what is considered to be industry standards for that product. (ie ever car comes with wheels). The angry customer has expectations that are not being met.

Every customer service department needs to listen carefully to what the expectation the customer has and whether or not it is valid (ie was created by the organization) or was an expectation that the customer shouldn’t have had in the first place. Showing respect for the customer when an unrealistic expectation was created in the customer’s mind, will help mitigate their anger when it is explained.

But for those expectations that are realistic, and were created by the company, overtly or implied, then the organization has the responsibility to deal with the customer and try to resolve their issues. The Service department has the responsibility to escalate to management those items it cannot fix appropriately with current policies.

Failure to resolve realistic customers issues given today’s Web technology is fool hardy. Over and over again customers have shown their ability to embarrass large organizations with on line complaints.. on complaint sites, blogs, Yelp, Sidewiki, Twitter, etc.  The ‘United Breaks Guitars’ song is an example.

When Management becomes committed to customer satisfaction, the service to customer improves. When dealing with a service organization that is not giving you satisfaction, escalate high within the organization.


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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

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