Are Your People Robots or People?

I am an on-line shopper out of necessity. I really like to go “shopping” into stores and malls, but I am time-poor, so it’s shopping on-line a majority of the time.

Recently, I purchased a large item from an on-line retailer and was not satisfied when I got it. They make the return very easy and ask you to complete a lengthy satisfaction survey about the product: Will you shop with them again? Will you recommend them? Was the experience fast and efficient? Did you encounter any challenges?, etc. I completed the survey and was quite happy with everything until I had to call. That’s when this experience “went South”.

Because of the extensive survey that I completed and the ease of ordering and returning, I was expecting a great phone experience. After all, they look for customer satisfaction in the survey and ask a number of questions around it. So, I was very disappointed when I encountered an uninterested and bored person at the other end of the phone. What happened to all the hype? Was this only the marketing department creating a great website with exciting phrases and cute slogans? Where was the enthusiasm for helping me figure out the return process with a large item?

I knew she was bored, because I could hear it in her voice. We always say, “It’s what you say and how you say it.” And this couldn’t be truer in today’s electronic world. When you do have to speak to a person, wouldn’t it be nice if they were engaged, excited to speak to you and help you? I think so.

If you manage people, listen for how they interact with your customers. Do they take the opportunity to fully engage customers with their tone and their own personal style, or could they easily be mistaken for robots? This can be a very subjective area, but it’s one that can set your organization apart, one conversation at a time.

Listen to yourself, too. Are you smiling when you talk in person or on the phone? Do you put some enthusiasm into your voice, no matter what conversation you are in? Or could you be a robot?

Your thoughts?

Johanna Lubahn is Managing Director of Call Center Services for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

Cohen Brown Management Group is the internally recognized leader in sales-and-service cultural and behavioral change, specializing in consulting and training processes for management, front-line, support/customer service units and call centers. Performance Grapevine provides thought leadership insights on sales training, sales management, leadership training, time management, consultative selling, behavior change, organization change, and culture change.

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