Far out Friday: How NOT to service clients

If you'd like to build and maintain a reputation for excellent client service, it's easy: Just don't act like these people



One of the worst complaints a borrower can throw at a mortgage broker is ‘poor customer service’. A quick browse through the badly-rated brokers on womo.com.au (a site that allows customers to rate businesses, including brokers, based on personal experience) comes up with plenty of feedback like the following, from an anonymous member:

“I used this business to get a mortgage. NEVER AGAIN. The rate and mortgage package was okay BUT the service, attititude [sic] and customer serv8ice [sic] was the worst I have ever had. They do not turn up, promise to do things they don’t. Don’t return calls and expect you do bow and scrape to them.”

While the majority of brokers bend over backwards for their clients, we thought it might be good to take a quick look at what not to do when it comes to customer service. Real life examples are one of the best ways to make a point – and these, from a variety of industries, are strait from the horse’s mouth:

Lesson 1: Insulting your client

"A few years ago, a friend [and I] were shopping. We decided to go into [a lingerie store] to browse. I was overweight at the time. I saw a really nice bra...and I said to my friend, 'They shouldn't be so discriminatory. They should make this in our size.' I then heard the manager say, 'Maybe if you lost some weight we would have things that fit you'."

Lesson 2: Showing absolutely no compassion. At all

"When I was 18 years-old, my mother died of lung cancer. She had clothes that she had purchased during her illness that she had never even taken the tags off to wear. My father asked me to return the clothes to [a major clothing store] ...I did not have the receipts. [The cashier] was very rude in the way that she was asking me, 'Why can't you just get the receipts from your mom to get the credit?' I then told her that she had just died and she proceeded to look into my face and say, 'Well, you don't look too sad about it.'"

Lesson 3: Failing to show up on time

"I paid about $20 extra to have a package delivered [to] arrive by Christmas. It went out on December 22nd and arrived on the 27th. I spoke with three different customer service representatives who said I couldn't get any money back because there was unexpected bad weather. One actually told me they weren't responsible for 'acts of God'."

Lesson 4: Doing things half-a**ed

"Several years ago while traveling, I stopped at a [fast food restaurant]. I was the second person in line, and it still took them 15 minutes to get to me. Then I ordered my coffee .The cashier then took two other orders, and I was left standing there. Finally, after speaking up, I received my cup. I went to the coffee urn, and, guess what? It was empty. So I stood at the counter again for another five minutes or more before someone asked me my problem. When I told them the coffee urn was empty, they filled my cup from behind the counter ... After a few sips, I realized ... it tasted like a mixture of coffee and TEA!"

Lesson 5: Using inappropriate racial/ethnic/sexual slurs

"One time I went to [a music store]. When I walked in there was a 16- year-old kid behind the counter wearing a hat that said, 'F*** You.' I asked him if they had any of the older Hootie and Blowfish CDs still in stock. He asked me if I was, 'some sort of f*g or something.' Needless to say, I was a bit shocked."

*Source: www.dailyfinance.com

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