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Four Customer Service Myths That Hold People Back

Four Myths About Customer ServiceThere are many misconceptions about what customer service is and how to deliver it.  Here are four common myths that can really hold us back from being truly outstanding customer service providers:

(See the Four Myths of Customer Service Video)

Myth #1:  “You Should Treat Customers The Way You Would Like To Be Treated.”

The intent of this very common statement is good, and speaks to the importance of respect and empathy.  It just doesn’t work well as a general philosophy.

Why?  Well, it assumes that everyone perceives customer service the same way, and wants to be treated the same way – and that’s just not the case.  Some people like service providers to be with them every step of the way, guiding us to the best possible decisions.  Others prefer to be given facts and options so they can make their decisions on their own.  Some like to just be left alone – preferring a more self-serve model.  If you just treat people the way you would like to be treated – you risk alienating all of the others.

Myth #2:  “The Customer is Always Right”

Sometimes a customer can be profoundly wrong.  And while we always must be respectful, and perhaps deferential to a customers’ wishes – it doesn’t mean they are right,

Myth #3:  “You Should Always Try To Exceed Customers’ Expectations”

It’s a wonderful thought, but absolutely unsustainable.  Once you have exceeded a customer’s expectations the first time, you set a whole new expectation for them.  If you exceed that expectation the next time, you set a new expectation – and so on, and so on.

Myth #4:  “Customer Service is Common Sense”

This is the big one – and nothing could be further from the truth.  This belief assumes that skill and attitude play no role in delivering customer service.  Training is irrelevant, and everyone should just intuitively know the right things to do.


Shaun Belding is CEO of The Belding Group – The Global Leader in Customer Service Consulting and Training

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