5 Unforgiveable Customer Service Mistakes

By Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor

We all know we’ve left companies due to poor service; and we know, too, there are more than five unforgivable customer service mistakes. This list is a summary from the many emails and comments I receive over the years.

While it’s all common sense—we know common sense is not all that common. So I continue to share this information in the hopes we can make some inroads around the world.

1. Not being friendly enough

Without exception, this is the number one customer service mistake. Customers should be treated as welcomed guests when they call or visit your business. As we’ve all experienced, sometimes we’re treated as an annoyance or an interruption. Remember the Telephone Doctor motto: “Be friendly before you know who it is.”

2. Poor eye contact

Heads that twirl on a spindle while working with a customer are a big mistake. It’s a sure sign the person you’re talking with isn’t holding your interest when you’re glancing around and they will notice it very quickly.

3. Talking with co-workers and ignoring or not acknowledging the customer

This customer service mistake unfortunately happens a lot. Drop the internal conversation as soon as you see the customer. While talking with a customer on the phone, it’s a big no-no to continue your conversation with someone in the office.

4. Being rude

No one thinks he or she is being rude; certainly not on purpose. However, the customer can perceive many things you do as rude. And as they say, “perception is reality.”

5. Poor product knowledge

When working with a customer, if you’re not familiar with the products and services your business offers, you’ll be making a big mistake. Take the time to learn about your company. Customers don’t care if you’re new, working on a temporary assignment, or if it’s not your department. All they want is help and information. Ask to be trained. Ask for more information from your company.

Again, there are certainly more than five unforgivable customer service mistakes. However, these consistently keep rising to the top when I speak at conferences so I feel they are very important.

Based on how much business is lost due to poor service, if we can combat just these five mistakes we’ll be on our way to much better service. Post this list where your folks can see them; have a meeting to discuss them; talk about how to avoid them. It’s all doable!

Reprinted with permission of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, St. Louis, MO. Nancy Friedman, president, is a featured speaker at association and corporate meetings. She has appeared on OPRAH, The Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and many others and has written articles for USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. For more information, log on to www.telephonedoctor.com or call 314-291-1012.