Is the customer's problem your problem? Most customer service professionals will say "yes" but their day-to-day interactions don't always back up the statement. It's not uncommon for customer care professionals to fall into a routine and begin interacting with clients in an egotistical way. This means that their attention is on themselves, not customers. What's most imperative is how they feel about a situation and its implications on them personally. In the event that a client need is inconvenient or difficult, the egotistical customer service professional gets disturbed, baffled and irritated. This is a disastrous approach for customer service because it exudes self-centeredness and a lack of caring. Apathy is an attitude that customer service professional cannot harbor.
Great customer care is the result of focusing on others. Customer service professionals sometimes can't solve a problem or handle a request right away but they can always take personal responsibility for getting a client's problem resolved or helping to effectively deliver their product or service.
Apathy is often the result of losing focus. When day-to-day activities become redundant, customer service professionals run the risk of losing focus on client needs when moments for superior customer care arrive. Here are four instances of client interactions.
- Mediocre Moment - This is routine work where a simple task needs completed.
- Defining Moment - Any personal interaction that helps shape the customers opinion of you or the company (since customer service professionals become the personification of the organization).
- Problem Solving Moment - When you are faced with a complaint or customer problem, it's an opportunity to solve a client's pain which can greatly impact the relationship.
- Magic Moment - When you surpass the client's expectation and provide suggestions to improve their service beyond what they had considered themselves.
These moments are in order of how apathy can have a negative impact.
Mediocre moments are the day-to-day tasks that customer care professionals must complete like paperwork, forms, or reports. Apathy is easy to set in on these tasks because the difference between a great job and a bad job boils down to timeliness and accuracy. Personal conduct plays little to no part.
Defining moments might also be routine but ups the ante a level because personal interaction comes into play. It's hard to disguise apathy when engaging with a client and that attitude can taint a client's perception of the product or service they are receiving.
Problem solving moments often requires customer service professional to put themselves in the client's shoes. Apathy in these situation means that the customer service professional won't relate to the problem and is likely to offer a sub-par solution just to check the issue off the list.
Magic moments simply don't happen for apathetic customer service professionals. They aren't engaged enough to think through an ideal solution and will only meet the bare minimum that a customer is seeking.
Don't let routines convert into apathy because mediocrity will become the best that customers can hope for. That's a disastrous expectation for clients to have and one that will negatively affect the company's profits.