Understanding is Underused in Customer Service

Posted on August 8, 2012 by

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Understanding seems to be underused…in traditional and social media.  As our mediums for outreach increase in numbers and as our individual/organizational audiences grow, it is more important than ever to consider our approach to others.  There have been so many opportunities lately to have civil dialogue about the happenings in the world and I really enjoy it when those conversations happen (and when I can be a part of them).  However, there are also many opportunities when a dialogue does not occur, but rather attacking and venting.  What are the end goals when we do go on the attack?  Are we treating others the way that we would prefer to be treated?  It doesn’t seem that we are.

I am pleased to say that there are many people who want to open those dialogues and want to stimulate positive conversations.  Frank Eliason is one of those people and I am glad that he will be joining us for #SMChat on August 8th at 1pm ET.  Frank is an expert at creating positive customer experiences.  I think that this is because he saw an opportunity to create mutual understanding between organizations and customers.

When a customer calls into a customer service center (or reaches out on social media), it is likely because they have an issue.  When those providing customer service also provide some understanding of the customer’s position, it can lead to a more positive interaction.  This works the same in reverse and it seems that we can be quick to forget that.  As customers, we should also give those serving us with some understanding.  How often have we (as customers) become frustrated because the customer service person was not empowered to solve our issue?  Do we really think it is because they did not want to be empowered?  I am sure that they wanted to provide a solution as much as we wanted them to…it’s with these questions in mind that I want to approach our monthly Customer Service feature for Social Media Chat.

How can we work together to create an environment for understanding?  Frank has offered an idea for creating this mental shift.  He has proposed that August 14th be a day for #PositivelySocial where we can all take a more positive approach in our communications.  I will definitely be joining in the conversation and hope that the SMChat community will as well.  Even though there is another week until #PositivelySocial Day, we will begin our community’s dialogue on SMChat and I hope that it carries into next week and beyond.

Q1. How do we create an environment that lends itself to more understanding interactions?

Q2. When we have negative interactions, how do we stop them from snowballing?

Q3. What steps can organizations take to shift their approach and avoid a “fail”? (If we could overuse understanding and underuse fail, what would be possible?)

Q4. How do we cultivate understanding communities?

Q5. What actions can you take to be more understanding?

I hope that you will join SMChat featuring our special guest Frank Eliason on August 8th at 1pm ET as we discuss the questions above.  Even if you are unable to join us, I hope that you will join the #PositivelySocial movement on August 14th.

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