Avoid these customer service mistakes

Assorted customer service issues I encountered recently serve as important reminders of what not to do. Let’s hope you can learn from these incidents.

customer service skills training, customer service training programs1. Provide accurate instructions/directions. While leaving a hotel last Saturday, I asked a person at the front desk where I would meet the shuttle bus. She gestured toward the front of the building. I then asked whether I needed to stand on this, the near side, or the far side of the street. She said I should stand on the near side. So I did.

You can imagine my surprise when the bus cruised out of the parking structure attached to the hotel and blew right past me. Turns out I was supposed to exit the rear of the hotel and look for the bus stand. As a result of her poor instructions, I missed that bus and had to arrange alternative transportation.

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Customer service calls should be answered promptly

As the country digs its way out of the Great Recession, you’d think that businesses would be making great strides in their customer service endeavors. Most do, I’m sure. But on occasion we encounter a firm that could use a refresher in how to provide quality customer service.

I recently needed to call my bank to inquire about changing the signatures on a checking account. Normally, I’d meet at a branch with the other person to sign the signature card. Our schedules don’t mesh, however, so I needed to know what my options were. That’s when the “fun” began.

I called their customer service number two times in as many days. In each case I was on hold for at least 10 minutes. It would’ve been longer, but I hung up. Couldn’t take it any longer. (In fairness to the bank, I was told–by an automated voice–that “due to high call volume, you’re expected wait time is 15 minutes.”) Why the high call volume? This institution, like others in the financial world, routes calls to a central office. That may be good in theory, but it can have serious consequences. As in my recent instance.

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