November 15, 2010

The job of customer service is to close the files on customer issues as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

If customer issues cannot be quickly and cheaply resolved with actions the company is willing to take, the job of customer service is to stall problems until they go away. Obviously if a customer issue goes away "on its own", the issue has been resolved (or never was a real problem in the first place).

Yet some issues just refuse to go away until they are resolved for real. Some customers are just stubborn that way.

As a last resort, if the problem still refuses to go away quietly, most companies have some version of a phrase in the small print:
We reserve the right to terminate your membership/refuse further business for any reason or no reason and at our sole discretion.
Throughout the process, customers are "problems", never people. As such, it is not important to listen closely to what they are saying. Since there are only a few company-acceptable courses of action, a good 90% of what customers will be told during the customer service loop will repeat again and again what has already been said: even if the customer has repeatedly demonstrated why what is being said is not relevant.

When what is being said is in the customer service script: how can simple logic penetrate?

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