Shut Up and Take My Money


When customers need to purchase a ‘big ticket’ item, it’s a relief when they are welcomed by a customer service provider who is skilled and ready to help them make the right decision. After interacting with a skilled customer service provider, the customer feels a sense of relief; no more research to be done, no more decisions to make, just take my money. Customers leave feeling like they have had a win.

Let me tell you a story that has a triple win.

At the end of last year, myself and Mr Schreck found ourselves in need of a new mattress and like many customers, we wanted to take advantage of the Boxing Day sales. Both of us have crook backs/necks/shoulders so this was not just an “any mattress will do” situation.

This purchase required research and we found several local suppliers wanting our ‘hard earned’ but we also found conflicting online reviews and a wide range of options and prices. We were tired from all the research and the old mattress was starting to ‘feel’ ok again.

The one thing we couldn’t ignore though was the big savings every supplier was offering so I took a deep breath, sliped on my comfiest shoes and strode out the door to do some product testing and have some face time with the customer service staff.

Frontline customer service staff are my favourite people in a workplace. They provide me with hours of training content and loads of examples of excellence I can share in my customer service training sessions. When frontline staff have the right tools, support and skills, they make buying so easy that customers willing hand over the cash. I call these staff Customer Service Professionals.

So it will be no surprise that we purchased a mattress from a Customer Service Professional (CSP).

Here’s how the interaction happened

  • CSP greeted me immediately and with genuine warmth - eye contact and smile

  • CSP listened - did not interrupt as I explained our needs

  • CSP asked questions to learn more about our needs

  • CSP gave me verbal and written information to take home

  • CSP encouraged me to lie on the mattresses and take my time

  • CSP knew the pain of getting rid of the old mattress and confirmed they would manage this for us

  • CSP didn’t push for a quick decision - I came back the next day ready to buy.

Here’s how the triple win works:

  1. Did I feel supported and respected throughout the interaction? Yes. Happy Customer

  2. Should the CSP feel proud that the sale was gained? Yes. Happy Employee

  3. Did I tell everyone I knew that if they want a mattress to go and visit the CSP? Yes, Happy Business.

Not every customer is only after a bargain. Some will buy more, pay more and stay longer if your customer service staff have the skills to detect the purchasing style of customers.

What I can’t be sure of is if this particular CSP had been given the training to match their service style to my purchasing style. It’s possible that CSP simply treated me how CSP likes to be treated as a customer. That worked for me, but if CSP can’t adjust their service style for customers with different purchasing styles, sadly CSP will no longer be a true CSP (Customer Service Professional), they would drop down to a ‘hit or miss’ customer service person.

Want to know how to create team of Customer Service Professionals (CSP’s) staff who can detect the purchasing styles of customers?

Contact us for your FREE Customer Service Analysis.

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