I recently had two customer service experiences with a company that sent me a defective DVD and then sent me the wrong disk as replacement. The discussions were nearly identical (both took place via online chat), but they left me feeling very different. During the first discussion, I was confident that I had done everything I needed to do. During the second one, I was unsure.
That uncertainty led me to examine the conversations in order to see the differences. Interestingly, there was no real difference in what the service rep said would happen next. Instead, what I found was that the first rep put it this way:
We will absolutely take care of that for you. I’ll escalate it now, and you’ll get the replacement DVD.
But the second rep put it this way:
I don’t have the authority to replace DVDs. I’ll escalate this to support and they will be in touch with you.
Which one was more accurate? Probably the second. Which one made me feel better? The first.
I personally have the tendency to be overly accurate and not reassuring enough–something that I’ll now be working on. And as I think about it, the geeks I’ve worked with who excel at customer service tend to leave some of the exact details out (like the first rep above did) in the interest of making the user/customer/client feel like they have been both heard and taken care of.
So what do you think? Which do you value more–customer service or accuracy?
Photo courtesy of Roman Pinzon-Soto.
3 thoughts on “Customer Service vs. Accuracy”
Both of these are accurate. The difference, I think, is in the viewpoints of the customer service representatives. The second rep is viewing the situation as an individual (“I”), who cannot help directly. The first rep is taking the view of the company as a whole (“We”), who can certainly resolve the issue. This team-oriented perspective is more valuable to the customer, which you could tell from how it made you feel. The role of the customer service rep is not to replace a DVD, but to advocate for what the customer needs from the business.
Brilliant observation, Richard! That actually really helps me to understand what happened and how to execute better.
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