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Three JBSA customer service mistakes: are you an offender?

By Jeff D. Champagne | 502nd Air Base Wing Interactive Customer Evaluation Site Administrator/Program Manager | Aug. 1, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —

Customer service in the 21st Century is the new battle-ground for companies and organizations to maintain the highest standards of customer service, expectations and customer retention.

Today, some of us can think of a few companies that provide exceptional customer service. Those same companies pride themselves on exceeding customer expectations through the customer experience.

The success of many customer service organizations depends on the happiness and overall experience of their customers interactions. Sometimes, we might do particular things that may make our customers frustrated or upset, even if we did not intend to.

The following three mistakes are JBSA’s highest trending Interactive Customer Evaluation, or ICE, customer service complaints.

1.) Perceived rudeness

Unfortunately, most of us have experienced rude behavior in some sort of customer service forum. Many of us can agree that we dislike when people are rude to us, but what if we paused for a second and thought about the way that we say things.

Sometimes, without even taking notice, we say things that can come off as rude, even if we did not mean for things to sound impolite.

The tone and body language you choose is vital to the success of any customer interaction or experience. Choosing the correct tone in customer service is very important. Recent ICE trend analysis has proven that customers prefer a formal tone over a casual tone. Customers facing an overly casual tone (such as slang or emoticons) are twice as likely to have a negative customer experience.

When we are too casual it is much more difficult when you actually have to say no to a customer. Doing so, can give off an impression that you are not taking their request seriously. And that can be easily mistaken as being rude.

2.) Being passed around

It can be extremely frustrating when you are looking for assistance and it seems that no one is pointing you in the right direction or even attempting to remedy your issue or concern.

The customer service environment is fast-paced and often can pull you in many directions at once. It is during these moments where we must take notice of our customer needs and concerns. More importantly, we need to make sure we do not stray from the basics of customer service and do our best to ensure we are meeting or exceeding the expectations of our customers.

For example, if someone mistakenly called your section or department looking for another organization how would you proceed? Would you tell them they have the wrong number and hang-up or would you take a few extra seconds to provide them with the correct telephone number?

In this scenario, we should always strive to provide the best customer service possible. Even if this means taking a couple of seconds to find the correct number for them. A little kindness goes a long way.

There is another synonymous term specifically used by healthcare professionals to avoid passing patients around and it is called a warm handoff.

What is a warm handoff?

A warm handoff is a handoff that is conducted in person, between two members of a healthcare team and the patient. The importance is to ensure the customer or patient is taken care of throughout their entire experience.

This is a very effective method used to holistically take care of patients or customers throughout their visits. Following this method will aid against communication breakdowns, confused patients and will serve as a bedrock to building internal and external relationships. Whichever style best suites you, remember we are here to take care of our patients and customers.

3.) Unable to reach anyone via telephone or e-mail

Another trending issue at JBSA is the inability to reach a representative or individual through any means of communication. This includes telephone, e-mail or social media platform. Customers are having a difficult time reaching someone and getting a returned call back.

It is highly recommended that organizations review their websites and publications often. This includes telephone numbers or contact information to ensure they are current and operational. Simultaneously, it is also recommended that you review and update your contact information within (MilConnect & GAL) which includes your current phone and e-mail addresses.

If we take the time to update our phone numbers, e-mails and voicemails it will make the customer experience that much easier and pleasant.

Treat your customers as you would want to be treated

It is a fact that nobody likes to wait, deal with rude people or feel unimportant. While the majority of us do our very best to ensure our customers have a great experience and feel appreciated, sometimes we can easily forget our responsibilities.

Take the initiative and use the examples above as a reminder to stay mindful about the things we say and how we say them to keep our customers happy.