Paolo Fabrizio
January 12, 2021

Does Your Customer Service Invite or Push People?

Does Your Customer Service Invite or Push People?

Whenever we ask somebody to take an action, we can adopt two different approaches. The first one to be more direct, sometimes even imperative, the second one less direct but more persuasive. When it comes to dealing with your customers, chances are that you’ll need to ask them to do something: Whether it is sending a document, filling out a form, or anything else, you are asking your customers to make some effort.

So the question is simple: if you were in customers’ shoes, would you agree to make an extra effort or would you refuse? Would you like customer service to invite or push you? To put it another way, do you like it when customer service is pushy? And turn that around. Is your customer service too pushy?

A Customer Experience Not To Be Inspired By

A few weeks ago I bought an LED lamp thru an online store that I’d never used beforehand. I have to say that the first part of the experience was absolutely great because:

  • I easily found the item I was looking for, so I was happy and saved time.
  • The checkout was easy and smooth and I felt confident in using my credit card in this new-to-me online store.
  • The delivery was on time. It took 2 days as promised.
  • The package and content were fine. This met my expectations. It is as all online purchases should be!
  • The lamp worked perfectly. Even the moment of truth was great!

Unfortunately, the second part of this experience has been utterly terrible because:

  • A paper card where I was literally prompted to leave a 5-star online review on a specific website. It was taken for granted that if I was satisfied with the purchase I should give it 5 stars.
  • Then the day following the delivery, I got an email replicating the same message: ‘Did you like our lamp? So why not leave us a 5-star review on [review site].com?’
  • Then I did not think that the worst was yet to come. Two days later I received another pushy email with a scolding tone: ‘Dear Paolo, as we have noticed that you did not leave your review. Can you please do that…’

How Would That Make You Feel?

In a nutshell – as you can imagine – this second part was so disappointing that it ruined my overall customer experience! In fact, such a pushy approach combined with the expectation that the customer should invest their time and efforts is absurd and simply out of time. Customers have long-since been digitally savvy, and know very well what they want from brands: a quick, efficient, and transparent service. Therefore using a pushy approach from them, even when we’re satisfied with what we’ve purchased, is 100% counterproductive.

Related read: go over digital customer service sliding doors.

Over To You

Should you still have any doubt as to whether you should invite or push your customers to take any action, take a moment to think about your worst customer experiences. Meanwhile, thank you for your time in reading, and have great conversations!

Editor’s Note: We couldn’t concur more strongly with the sentiment expressed in this article by Paolo. 5-star should equal excellence, not meeting expectations. And being pushy definitely makes the overall customer experience less enjoyable. This example is an extreme that I haven’t encountered but would be moved to respond negatively to.

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Paolo Fabrizio

Digital Customer Service Consultant, Trainer, Author, Speaker. Paolo has been helping companies to harness digital customer service as a business driver. Founder of CustomerServiceCulture, author of books and speaker at conferences in Italy and abroad. Lecturer at the Bicocca University of Milan