CX Blog

Customer Service Lessons from The Best 22 Toons of The Shepard Letter

Happy customers play a major role in bringing repeat business and business through word-of-mouth and referrals. When a customer service agent resolves a customer’s grievance with immense care and attention, the customer will talk about it to his friends and family. For this, your customer service skills must be par excellence.

On the other hand, if your customer service team is indifferent to the customers’ issues, they will fail to impress the customers. Instead, they might even ignite some aversion towards your company. Your customers might not want to come back to you. According to the RightNow research paper, 82% of customers leave because of the poor customer service they receive. It is for you to decide to choose the side that you want to be in.

In this blog, we have picked up some wonderful toons from the blog of CX expert and best-selling author, Shep Hyken. These funny toons have HUGE messages underlying them. We have elaborated a few of these amazing toons. Read on to know more.

Examples of Bad Customer Service

Not being empathetic


When your customers invest in your product/service, they look to get the value of their money in return. There could be various instances or circumstances that might lead to not meeting their expectations. When such issues or concerns are reported, the least that you MUST do is be empathetic and act on them. If you, rather, give them reasons to justify why ‘there is nothing you can do about it,’ imagine how they would feel! That is certainly the end of the relationship you share with them!

Not making things easy for the customer


A customer receives damaged goods and reports it to a customer service representative of your company. What is the right thing to do? Replace it, prioritizing the needs and requirements of the customer. Now, think of the repercussions if the representative informs the customer that ‘it is not their policy to collect a product from the customer’s address.’ Firstly, the customer hasn’t received a quality product; further, he himself has to ship it back to get it replaced. Would he want to do more business with you?

Not taking ownership


If ever an unforeseen situation arises leading to inconvenience to your customers, it is crucial that you take ownership of the issue and resolve it in the best manner possible. The way your customer service representatives deal with such untoward situations, where your customers are not in their best mood, can make or break the kind of confidence that your customers have in your company.

Not reacting promptly to customer issues


In this age of digital media, customers are omnipresent and omnipotent. They prefer reporting their issues on social media rather than calling the customer support and waiting for hours. According to a research by Altitude Solutions, over 80% of customers expect a company to respond within 24 hours after posting on social media. Also, 3 in 10 customers, 31%, expect a reply to an email within an hour.

When tweets or posts by customers go ignored or unattended, they resort to various channels on social media to leave nasty comments about the apparently ‘great customer service’ that they received. This bad publicity leads to losing more customers. Research shows that it takes 12 positive customer reviews to neutralize the impact of one negative review.

Not listening actively



Most of the customer service teams are required to adhere to the script that they are provided with while dealing with customers. However, in today’s times of technology, customers turn to the customer service team only if they want to talk to have a personalized interaction. It is crucial for the employees to toss away the script at times and actually listen to what the customer has to say.

I once came across a story where a customer requested a customer service representative at a bank to cancel the credit card account of her father, Pat, because he had passed away recently. The quick response from the other end was, “Well, I need to talk to Pat.” Now, this kind of poor listening skills will not only sour the relationship that organizations share with their customers but also deter these customers from approaching them in future.

Not getting into details


At times, customers are unaware and unsure of the manner in which to put across their concern appropriately to the customer service executive. This is where the role of an excellent customer experience agent comes in. In such times, it is crucial to ask the right questions to understand the customer’s issues in a better manner. Otherwise, the customer has only partial information and thus, is in the dark. The toon gives a fantastic scenario of what might happen if a customer service agent leaves out the details.

Focusing on internal metrics rather than customer queries 


The customer service executives, sometimes, tend to rush through the calls in order to record the least turnaround times. When this is done at the cost of customer experience, it is certainly not the right approach. It is but obvious that the employee must ensure that all the customer queries have been duly answered or resolved. If the customer has to make multiple calls to your customer service team, you are not ‘serving the customer’ right.

Not being well-informed and well-trained


When customers walk into your premises there are most certainly looking for a certain product or service. However, if frontline employees have to check with other employees or with the manager every time the customer asks them a certain question, it will reflect badly on the organization. The customer might consider that particular employee to be a rookie, and leave the premises with disappointment. Is that the kind of an impression you would like to leave on your customers? Hence, it is important that organizations invest in the training of their frontline employees. They are the face of the organization!

Not being practical


Certain customers bring in great business opportunities for your company and, as a token of appreciation, you surprise them with additional discounts or free coupons. That’s great. However, are the discounts adding value to your customers? Are you making their experience friction-less? If not so, customers may feel disappointed, even after receiving great customer service. The toon aptly describes a situation where an organization is giving a discount but is that worthwhile for the customer?

Examples of Good Customer Service

Making customers feel important and loved



Customers bring in business for your organization. Without the customer, you are nothing. Here, if you prefer to ‘choose’ specific customers you want to do business with, you might lose great opportunities. Delighting all your customers should be the only priority for you and your customer service team, even if they are not making a purchase.

Caring for your customers




Customers today are smart and prefer to do everything by themselves. Hence, when they get in touch with the customer service team, they are looking to build a relationship. In such a situation, if your employees empathize, are observant, and focus on the details, they will be able to delight the customers and make a positive impact in their lives. These small gestures help you win over your customers and bring in repeat business. Not only would they want to visit you over and over again, but they’d also get their friends and folks along.

Personalizing experiences for customers



A personalized experience is the best kind of customer service that a customer can ever receive. For instance, Amazon never fails to amaze its customers with the level of personalization they provide. Such organization will never fall short of business; their old customers would flock them and potential customers would certainly want to do business with them.

Examples of how to Improve Customer Service

Hiring the right employees


Your frontline employees are the first point of contact for your customers. Don’t they say that first impressions are the last ones? If the first interaction doesn’t go well, why would they want to come back to you? On the other hand, if your customer service agents are positive, passionate, and empathetic towards your customer and are ready to walk the extra mile to delight the customers, they will win over many loyal customers for your company. All this begins at the hiring stage. If you hire the right people, they are sure to bring in more business for you.

Training the employees consistently


The frontline employees need to be trained right. They must be prepared to solve customer issues even in difficult situations and with difficult customers. It is important to understand that training and learning is not a one-time process. Rather, is a continuous process and employees learn newer skills at various stages. Your customer service executives should be trained regularly to help them keep up with the changing times.

Asking the customers what they want



The best way to ensure that your customers are always happy doing business with you is to ask them for their requirements and needs. Then, the next step is to fulfill those requirements. Their wish must be your command because customers are the true kings. Customers appreciate this importance that you show towards them. Once you deliver on these customer expectations, you win their trust and loyalty.

Empowering the frontline employees


Training the employees is crucial to delivering great customer service. Additionally, if you empower your employees to go a step beyond their limits to delight the customers, your customers will never leave disappointed. These customers will always love doing business with you because they start valuing the relationship that your employees have established with them. On the other hand, a single disappointing experience can serve as a deterrent for a customer to do repeat business with an organization. Hence, employees must understand how important their roles are and must be given the liberty to truly WOW the customers.

P.S: A special and a heartfelt thank you to Shep Hyken for inspiring us with his insightful customer experience blogs and tweets. We are forever learning from you, Shep!


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