Customer Experience News & Trends

Stupid or rude – what upsets customers most?

As a contact center leader should you spend more time training on soft skills or on products and services?

Stick to the soft stuff. Reason: Customers can put up with incompetence longer than rudeness, according to a study in Science Daily. In fact, customers don’t even have to be the victim of rude behavior to be upset with your company and Service. If they see or hear contact center employees being rude to co-workers or other customers they’ll be turned off.

In one case, customers who heard an employee gossip about a co-worker got a fast negative impression of the company. They were far more tolerant of an employee who was incompetent when helping them, researchers found.

So it won’t hurt to promote civility in your contact center. Some ideas:

  1. Live it. Treat employees with respect and they’ll do the same. Avoid reprimanding them in front of other employees and customers. Respect their time by being on time to meet them, letting them leave when they’re scheduled to and being flexible, when possible, to work around their home lives.
  2. Put it in their faces. Put up posters (much like those for students in elementary schools) to remind people to “Smile at each other,” “Be nice,” “Compliment often,” and “Share.”
  3. Reward people for being nice. Give small rewards (gift cards to local restaurants or convenience stores, movie tickets, candy, vending machine tokens, etc.) to people who go the extra mile for co-workers or practice random acts of kindness.

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