Why customer service staff need a magnifying glass

Mystery Shopper.jpg

Customer service staff who think like detectives are highly succesful. They enjoy their jobs, their customers love interacting with them and their employers want to keep them, and keep them happy.

To think like a detective, customer service staff need permission and tools so they can treat every customer as a unique puzzle that must be solved. The aim of the customer service provider is to ‘solve the puzzle’ by detecting what each customer needs to feel valued.

When done well, customers often buy more, listen willingly, thank the employee and tell everyone they know about the excellent service. When done well, staff want to do it again and again and employers should seek to recognise and reward them.

Customer service staff with detective skills provide a level of service that most customers don’t expect.

A word of warning; customer servce staff need soft skills so they can moderate their investigation to avoid customers feeling like they are part of an interogration.

Soft skills are also known as people skills. Soft skilled customer service staff ask questions calmly and professionally and often surprise customers with how much they have learned, with little or no intrusion.

They learn much of what they need by assesing 3 V’s.

  1. Verbal: what the customer says

  2. Visual: what the customer does

  3. Vocal: how the customer sounds.

Assessing the 3 V’s makes it easy for customer service staff to adjust their service style to suit the communication and information preferences of different customers.

Just like Sherlock Holmes, skilled customer service staff ask questions to uncover information that leads to puzzle solving BUT unlike Sherlock Holmes, customer service detectives are not seeking to prove customers are guilty - they are seeking to uncover what customer expectations are so they can exceed them.

A great way to remind customer service staff to think like a detective is through visual aids - like a magnifying glass. Use real ones and/or digital or printed images across the workplace ie: back of toilet doors, whiteboards, intranet, email sign offs or in staff areas.

A magnifying glass is a visual reminder to keep the goal of being customer service detectives front of mind.

By Cate Schreck - Author of The A - Z of Service Excellence