3 Killer Words That Piss Customers Off

Creating a great customer experience is everyone’s responsibility.

There’s three words that we have all heard some time or other and every time we hear them, it really pees us off every time. : Quack, Quack  “Not my job” Bad customer experience. 

When we hate hearing those three words ourselves, why do we go and say it to others when we are at work? Next time think about it before you pee someone off with any of the above three words. It makes no difference if your job is in sales, customer support, marketing, manufacturing, management or even the tea lady for that matter. Once you hear those killer words you know this company does not care about its customers / clients. I use the word killer words because that is exactly what people do when they say those words – they stand a great chance of killing that customer off for good, they will find an alternative supplier whose customer experience is better by far. And with social media you can do more damage than you might realise.

Brand Ambassadors

Every front line individual employee of any organisation is the spokesperson for that company he or she are your brand ambassadors. If you employ them then you should also trust them to be able to make a decision without having to pass the hot potato around by say “not my job” or responsibility.

Most companies have some form of an organisational chart which says this task or responsibility fall on such and such department and such and such a person in that department. This might be the case when it comes to internal politics but the customer doesn’t care all they want to do is resolve an issue or place an order not go in to the politics of your organisation.  So your front line employees need to be empowered with decision making policies to deal with the customer and not pass the hot potato by saying not my department. Take a leaf out of Zappos on how they treat their customers. Don’t let the customer go till their issues are resolved then make sure they are happy with the solution you provided or the result you achieved for them. So simple but not easy to implement depending on the size of your company.

Customers Come First

Each front line employee should learn to take charge and ownership of the problem the customer is facing without passing the hot potato around with not my responsibility or not my department. The customer is more important than the company’s internal policies, just think about it, if you don’t have customers you don’t have a business. Sales and profits are a by-product of having customers.

Each front line employee should be trained to the point that is beyond their job description to be able to serve the customer exceptionally well thus making the company more successful.

Bad Customer Experience

From the year 2000 to 2005 I purchased a brand New Range Rover every 6 months, so when the new number plates came out I had a new Range Rover waiting for me to collect. I had established a relationship with a Spanish Land Rover dealership who got me a right hand drive Range Rover every 6 months at a wapping discount of £11,000 each time because I was buying in Spain due to the discount arrangements the Spanish had with the manufacturers.

Each time I sold my old Range Rover the 6 month old one, in most cases I broke even, so it was costing me nothing to keep the motor for 6 months.

The problem started in 2005 when the local dealer in Birmingham who serviced the R/R and did not carry out the work I had been charged for. During the winter my back rear window kept misting up on the inside, later I found water had been seeping in through the seals and collecting in the hub by the spare wheel. I took the motor in and they repaired the leak under the guarantee. But three months later I had the R/R serviced and after paying for the service I got what I call a tick sheet saying what inspection had been carried out.

Two weeks later I go to sell the Range Rover as my next new one had arrived and a potential buyer is now looking over the R/R with a view to buying it. What did we discover?  not only still leaking in water but there was no way the dealer could have checked the spare wheel during the service as indicated by the tick sheet as it was surrounded by water which he would have noticed had he looked.

I immediately took this up with the management of the dealership who said they do not understand how this could have been overlooked and said if I were to bring it back they will look in to it, so what is the customer hearing, “it’s Your Problem” bring it to us and prove it. Then I went to complain to Land Rover head offices in Solihull who were as much help as the dealership, well you have to take it up with the dealership I am afraid they said. Again what’s the customer hearing “Not my problem”.

Needless to say I never purchased another Range Rover, the bad dealer is still there and land Lover who since have new Indian owners, lets hope things have improved.

Who Takes The Blame

The dealership is to blame as they did not carry out the leaking water repair correctly in the first place but charged Land Rover for the repair because the motor was under manufacturers guarantee. Then second time round being ripped off for a service which was not carried out fully but I paid in full.

Correct Way Of Holding On To The Hot Potato

A complaint of such nature should go straight to the top, in my opinion it is fraud, charging for something you have not had, yes harsh words but in fact true as the Trading Standards told me later.

They should have sent someone out to me to check the facts out, take my motor away with a replacement motor like for like until the matter had been resolved. That was the least I would have expected, additionally they could have tried to refund my service charges or offered a free service for next time but nothing.

Land Rover should have taken my details down and should have said Mr x we will investigate this matter for you my name is xyz and I will personally come back with the right answers, thank you for bring this to our attention. Not hard is it?.

With the internet and social media getting stronger and stronger and more customers voicing their views through social media, is it really worth losing good customers. If you are a CX Strategist then you know that it costs 5 to 7 times more money to attract and get a new customer than to look after and retain an existing customer.

Short Term Profits or Sustainable Profits

Most companies look at the balance sheets, profit and loss accounts to see how good they are doing, these profits are earned by loads of tactics which is short term is stupidity and a business killer. What they should be doing is looking at sustainable profits and this can only happen when you put the customer first every time this is better known as the Evergreen Clients For Life system.

As any CX Strategist will tell you that customer retention through customer experience is simple but hard work to implement, but once it is up and running with some program like Evergreen Client For Life or the Net Promoter Score system then and only then will you see your clients referring more clients back to you just like Zappos and 1,000’s of other companies now using systems that work by putting the customers first every time.

Every front line staff member should be trained that, once you are involved with a customer problem, it becomes your problem and your responsibility, not passing the hot potato to someone else, you see it through till the customer is satisfied without exception.

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Moe Nawaz: Author – Speaker – Strategist Advisor & Mentor to FTSE 100 Leaders