Excursions by Amit Gawande

Effectiveness of Customer Service Representatives

I have met two types of customer service representatives. There is a section that is trained to listen to what the customer has to be say and serve her rightly. It may, at times, involve sailing through the tirade that the angry, unsatisfied customer unleashes on them. They wait for the right moment to pacify them with a solution that does actually solve the problem that she has.

Then there is another section that neither calms a customer down nor solve her problem. They just passively ignore the blabber and just move on to what they had to do right from the beginning — lead her to another queue.

Both these sections pacify the customer by making her tired.

But there is another section, though in minority, that I come across with a pleasant surprise. They do not listen to your tirade - they even engage, if necessary. They make you realize that your anger is unjustified at the moment, at the place and is against a person that does not deserve to be shouted at. They pacify you by not making you tired, but by tersely moving on to the actual problem that should be addressed. It demands a degree of confidence in one’s knowledge and experience and belief in understanding the customer need better to belong in this group.

Which section fits the standard schooling of customer care, is more effective in addressing the customer needs is undoubtedly debatable. I believe majority of the people may prefer the patience and calmness of the first group. But at times, it is the concise interaction of the final group that is beneficial for all parties involved.

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