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How to Avoid Bad Customer Service

By Andy Kemal | December 9, 2019 | Processes, Value, Leadership, Coaching

Copyright Antonio Guillem | Dreamstime.com

What does bad customer service say about a small business? A lot, actually. In fact, a business can’t survive for very long without good customer service, stellar customer service at that. There’s simply too much competition out there for you to compromise the face of your company. Your product or service will only carry you so far.

I can’t tell you how many restaurants I have been to where the service has been abysmal. Typically, it’s not the server that’s at fault as you may think, but rather it’s the whole package that’s the problem. I can immediately tell if they are understaffed or if the operations are not smooth. These things tend to have a ripple effect on the end customer.

Poor customer service can have a ripple effect that can harm a business in several ways. The stigma of negative service reaches beyond a single customer or employee and includes the entire full staff as well as existing and potential customers. Limiting negative customer experiences will minimize the impact of isolated instances of poor service.

Sadly, not everyone knows how to do that. This ripple effect all comes down to one thing: bad management.

Bad management starts small, festers, and quickly infects the entire operation. As Forbes puts it, “the ripple effect of negative conflict is fast and dangerous.”

Of course, whenever a group of people comes together in a common purpose, conflict will be inevitable at some point. But well-managed conflict can be constructive and creative rather than destructive and cancerous. The best thing you as the leader can do is to embrace conflict and harness its power as a creative force for innovation and productivity. Indeed, conflict is a given; the outcome of that conflict is a choice.

As I point out in my recent blog “The 3 P's That Turn Good Companies into Exceptional Ones,”

businesses of any type succeed based on fundamentals. When those building blocks aren’t in place, failure is pretty much inevitable. But when those fundamentals are ever-present, strong, and paired with good old fashioned hard work, success is likely. The fundamentals of business can be boiled down to three things: People, Process, Product.

Bad Management: Finding the Cause

From lack of results measurement to under resourcing, there are many contributing factors to poor management. Let’s take a look:

1. Lack of Processes and Goals

When your company doesn’t have a specific outline or processes and goals to reach, it’s essentially flying blind. This leaves you open to all sorts of bad behavior, from poor leadership to directionless oversight.

2. No Measurement and Therefore No Improvement

With no clear way of measuring outcomes and results, how you can hope to improve? In every business, there is room for improvement. Knowing what you have to work on can only come from concrete results showing you what is and isn’t working.

3. Wrong Employees With Wrong Attitudes

Your business is your baby. You love it. You nurture it. You must employ people who bring the same passion for your craft as you do. Without the right employees and the right mindset, you will never be on the same page providing a unified front to the world. Without good people, good processes and good products only do so much; in the same vein, while the “right” people are effective and bolster a business from the ground up, the “wrong” people can destroy a business just as easily.

4. Under Resourcing

When there are not enough employees for the work, the impression you give to the world is one of a harried, disorganized, constantly-stressing, overworked company that has no time to properly tackle daily operations, let alone work on its customer service style. It’s understandable why you would keep staffing to a minimum; it makes sense on paper. But many small businesses struggling with cash flow make the mistake of reducing staff, when improving their process and efficiency is a better way to help the situation.

5. Under-Trained Employees

Employees who don’t know how to do their jobs well can’t be expected to bring confidence and assuredness to your brand. Train them well, make sure they know your product or service inside and out, and watch them shine. Once your People know their responsibilities, they need to know how they should go about executing those responsibilities.

The bottom line is, bad management causes a lot of negative things to happen to an organization, as well as everything it touches, from customers to goods and services. That’s why good management practices are key to good business.

Need to get your business back on track and bolster your customer service strategy? Talk to us today and get a  No-Obligation Online 30-minute Consultation.