2 signals you are afraid of the customer

2 signals you are afraid of the customer

Technology is a great enabler especially when it comes to Digital Customer Service. However that’s not enough because customer experience perception is the result of each interaction. In fact when I carry out digital conversations assessments on behalf of clients I often find out dangerous behaviors by their support agents. Because show that the whole company’s afraid of the customer.

Two typical scenarios

Here are two frequent cases that I’ve observed regardless of the industry, company size or nationality.

1. Over repeating responses to persistent customers

In this first scenario your support agents have already provided the customer with a response, but they are not satisfied about that.  Accordingly, the customer sends over a second message, trying to find a breach. Now the support agent starts feeling the pressure; so he/she tries to convince the customer by adding extra motivations / justifications. Does that work? 90% of the times it doesn’t! Because the insistent customer perceive that the agent is in trouble, therefore becomes more aggressive. That’s the sliding door where still too many companies make too many ‘exceptions’ giving in to the pressure of the customer because they are just scared of losing them. The fact is that every customer is NOT the same – just like persons: so why should you make extra effort for those who do not deserve it, thus preventing you to show your best part to your most loyal ones?

Conversation with persistent customer

Remedy: when your position is set, make it clear with the customer in your very first response. Then confirm it in your second reply without adding any extra detail. This will be your last one unless the customer asks for further / different information.

2. Public conversations scare you

When ever the customer writes an online review or posts anything over social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) you literally feel a cold shiver over your spine. That might sound absurd but it still happens in 2022 much more often than you may think. For instance you post a content on your company Facebook page, then one or more people comments: ‘stay away from them, they are scammers! Believe me, I went it through because I used to be their customer. Another example? A review over Trustpilot or GoogleMyBusiness where some others criticize, attack or praise the brand. The fact is that some support teams are so afraid of the customers that they struggle / avoid to replicate even when it comes to positive mentions!

Remedy: reply to every single public comments or online review to thank, apologize or let the customer know that you’ll investigate the matter and revert to them. By doing so you reward the time that the customer have spent writing and at the same time you let all other ‘conversation spectators’ that you’re there to guard your territory.

TIP: If you find yourself in any of the above scenarios, you definitely need to develop customer culture within your organization.

Over to you

If you are afraid of the customer you’ll take irrational decision that will negatively affect your business. That’s why in my consulting activities I immediately report them to my client suggesting actionable solutions. The last time I did it was today at noon with a laser-focussed video-chat.

Did you already get your conversations check-up?

Have great conversations.

Image credit: Unsplash.com

About Paolo Fabrizio

Digital Customer Service Consultant, Trainer, Author, Speaker. In the 90s he took part in the startup of the first online insurance company in Italy, following the customer's entire life cycle. Since 2013 as a consultant and trainer he has helped companies to exploit digital customer service as a business lever. Founder of CustomerServiceCulture.com, he is the author of thematic books at thematic conferences in Italy and abroad and lecturer at the Bicocca University of Milan.