Isnt’ that a great line? “Denial is not a river in Egypt.”

We all know how impactful the voice of the customer is, and how equally important it is to listen to that voice. However, research shows that even though there is a real sensitivity to price among consumers, companies continue to remain in denial.

So why isn’t the customer service or customer experience strategy not being tweaked to meet the needs of the customer?

Some responses I’ve heard include:

“Well, we’re making our numbers,” or
“It can’t be that bad,” or
“Our products and/or services are selling and customers are buying.”
And of course, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Other companies are making their numbers too—your competition—so one could say you’re all in the same boat. Often companies are making their numbers and/or sales because they are offering discounts or bonuses.

The bottom line here is don’t be in denial. Don’t focus so much on your product or service to be myopic, but rather, focus on the customer’s experience.

Making your numbers is a short term goal. Investing in your customer should be your long term goal.

And the best way to invest in your customer is to invest in your employees. Give them the tools, the techniques, and the support they need to do a great job.

The better you take care of your employees, the better they take care of your customers.

To be specific, most organizations provide the software and hardware necessary to stay competitive in business today. That’s a necessity. However, what somehow gets low on the list of priorities, sometimes gets put to the back burner and eventually could fall off the stove, is customer service (soft) skills training.

Just because someone can speak doesn’t mean they can communicate. Communication means that a message was sent, it was received, and it was understood. It takes all three for communication to be accomplished.

By training staff in communication, listening, rapport (relationship) building, anger diffusion, conflict management and empathetic responsiveness, just to mention a few, they are better equipped to deal with today’s customer—who we all know is more sophisticated than the customer in the past.

Today customers can use self service 24/7 and not have to call your company—until and unless there is a problem. Now it’s an accelerated call even before it’s answered. Staff need to have the skills to diffuse any upset before they can move a customer onto a more productive interaction and closure. In fact, customers won’t allow you to move them on until they feel heard, respected, and treated with dignity. Customers bring representatives back to their opening paragraph each and every time if they are not acknowledged for being heard.
Remember, we, the people, are who make the difference, not the software, hardware, statistics, etc. John Naisbett, the author of Megatrends said it best ”The more high tech the world becomes, the more people crave high touch service. “ Don’t be in denial!

Author's Bio: 

ROSANNE D'AUSILIO, Ph.D., an industrial psychologist, consultant, master trainer, best selling author, executive coach, customer service expert, President of Human Technologies Global, specializes in human performance management providing needs analyses, instructional design, and customized customer service skills trainings as well as executive/leadership coaching. Also offered is agent/facilitator university certification through Purdue University’s Center for Customer Driven Quality.

Known as 'the practical champion of the human,' she authors 7 best sellers “Wake Up Your Call Center: Humanize Your Interaction Hub,” 4th ed, “Customer Service and the Human Experience,” “Lay Your Cards on the Table: 52 Ways to Stack Your Personal Deck (includes 32-card deck of cards), How to Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch: 101 Insider Tips, Vol I and II, The Expert’s Guide to Customer Service, Vol I and II as well as her popular complimentary ‘tips’ newsletter on How To Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch! at