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Customer Service - a job or an attitude?

I was talking to one of my acquaintances in a party few months ago and we were talking about what I was doing in Shipitwise. I said that I’m in customer service, one question lead to another and we finally reached to one of the classics - how much do you get paid. I answered and the reaction was quite surprising - man, you get paid way too much for being in customer service. That kind of pissed me off a bit. Not so much because my ego got punched in the face, but rather what I stand for as an individual.

It surprises me that we still live in an era, where sales people get all the credit and customer service people “are just there to answer your calls”. Don’t get me wrong, sales people deserve the credit that they are getting because it’s one of the highest paying hard jobs and lowest paying easy jobs, but so do we. We are not here to just breathe the air and warm your seat, the quality of your customer service team either makes or breaks your business and it’s a fact.

Since numbers never lie, Help Scout has gathered interesting stats about customer service, so here are few examples:

  • 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience;

  • It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience;

  • Probability of selling to a new customer - 5-20%. Probability of selling to an existing customer - 60-70%;

  • 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again;

  • Resolve a complaint in the customer's favor and they will do business with you again 70% of the time.

Should I go on? :)

It all starts with your team and who you choose to represent your business. Who would you think much rather help your clients in any way possible in their customer experience journey - rightfully paid, valued, motivated, self-driven people with leader mentality or people who are barely making their ends meet and just do it because they don’t know what else to do? The other day I checked one customer service representatives Facebook page, who works for one of the biggest transportation companies in the world. The first thing I saw was a meme about how much does the Mondays suck. What do you think, did I use the services of this company or not? I’m sure I can’t speak for all the customers, but in a case like that I much rather use another company than just speak to another representative in that company. I just didn’t trust my well-being to that person although he actually might be “cool as a cucumber”.

Whether we like it or not, we are all in customer service business. Customer service is the ship and providing services or products is the cargo in your ship. If you don’t have a full functioning ship and it has holes in it, no one has an access to your service/product and you will live in isolation, which I’m sure you understand is not really good for your business.

Customer service is not something you do as a job, it’s who you are as a person. It’s a lifestyle, an attitude, a mentality. It’s dedicating your life to serve others and make them happier on a daily basis. I’ve been service minded since 1989 when I started my journey as a young boy in an amazing family. I had a contagious laugh which made everyone else laugh as well and I was called a Laughing Gull. I gave one of my friends my jacket when she was cold and it was freezing outside. It subconsciously might have been for a kiss on the cheek, but nevertheless. My friend forgot to do his homework and I gave him mine and told the teacher that I forgot to do it and got some kind of penalty which I don’t remember anymore. This one I definately didn’t do for a kiss on the cheek. :) I open doors for people in any chance I get etc. It’s just those small daily gestures that doesn’t cost you arms or legs, but goes for a mile. Transfer this to your career and hire people like that to make your business bloom.

When’s the best time to start you ask? Yesterday!

Author: Miko Kallas,