Customer Experience News & Trends

11 signs a customer service rep doesn’t care anymore

Customer service professionals have to care — about their work, customers and colleagues. Unfortunately, that compassion sometimes fades, and they don’t deliver the experience customers expect. 

On the bright side, most service pros want to care. But they may feel overwhelmed or, on the flip side, under-challenged. And the I-don’t-care attitude creeps in.

“We’re all so busy these days,” said Jon Gordon, author of The Carpenter. “And when we’re trying to survive, sometimes even the most well-meaning among us don’t realize how we’re coming across.”

So don’t be afraid to call out customer service pros who seem to have lost interest.

What to watch for

Watch for these signs — and help them get motivated again:

  1. They don’t touch base. Employees should proactively reach out to their bosses regularly for feedback and direction. When they stop doing it, it’s because they don’t care about the quality of their work and what the boss thinks.
  2. They wait to respond. Then when you do reach out to them, they wait a while to respond to your missed calls and emails. It’s because they don’t feel any matter is urgent or important any more.
  3. They forget customer preferences. Good service reps build rapport and relationships with customers over time, so they learn preferences. When they stop making sure customers get theirs — or at least confirming that they still want them — it’s a sign they don’t want to be connected to customers anymore.
  4. They hand off more often. Committed customer service pros see complex situations and tough issues through to the end for customers. When they start to hand off the tougher stuff, they’re showing signs of laziness and no longer caring.
  5. They rush. Loose ends are evidence of rushing through projects and work. When reps start putting the least amount of effort into their work, there will be small things left undone.
  6. They miss deadlines. An extension once in a while is a necessity in business. But a pattern of excuses for missing deadlines and requests for “a little more time” make it clear the work isn’t a priority to the employee anymore.
  7. They’re not thankful. Saying “thank you” at the end of conversations with customers is a given. But saying the words doesn’t mean they actually mean it. Disgruntled reps can lose the sincerity in their tone, and it can be heard by customers — and you.
  8. They listen halfheartedly. Reps who have ask customers to repeat themselves or don’t resolve issues on the first contact are likely only listening halfheartedly. They’ve left behind great listening skills.
  9. They’re disrespectful. You’ll see this in how they treat colleagues and you. Reps who’ve “checked out” will stop using common courtesies and etiquette in the office.
  10. They gossip. Rumor mills often start and end with the most negative people in the office. Uncaring words are a sure sign of a lost sense of caring.
  11. They’re self-centered. People who don’t care about work, tend not to care about those at work. They stop asking colleagues about their families, friends and weekends.

Make a move

Like we said, don’t be afraid to call out these behaviors, but be specific. Say, “Jill, I noticed you had to ask that customer to repeat his account number three times. I feel you aren’t listening as well as you once did. Are there some issues you’re having that you’d like to talk about?”

Then take steps to get reps who’ve stopped caring engaged again. Invite them to be part of a training program. Remind them of their strengths and ask them to mentor someone who’s struggling in those areas. Ask them to come up with fun, motivational ideas for the entire department.

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