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The Psychology of Customer Service Part 2

In my last article we discussed how to treat others and you get what you expect.


Let’s talk about that.


Every year we succumb to the bedlam of Christmas shopping.  In and out of stores driving everywhere and waiting in lines.


As I go through the market place and spend time and money, I am always on the lookout for a unique situation to use either in our live sessions or to write about.  But during this series of articles regarding the psychology of customer service, one observation emerged –

How I act as a customer and how I regard others as providers.

I came to this realization during my recent shopping voyage.


So here I am shopping and the longer I “shop” the less patient I become, therefore becoming an “unpleasant customer” well, just an unpleasant person.


I noticed in my own mind a very curious phenomenon; I began to expect bad service.  I expected to be snubbed, treated badly and just plain ignored.  And as I wrote in the previous article, I got what I expected.  Translation – a negative experience.


I expected confrontation – I got it.  I expected not to have the item I needed – I got it (or I didn’t get it rather) and so on.  Negative expectations and I got what I expected.


I want to expect the best in people, the best in what they provide – positive expectations.



There are three  types of expectations customers have:

·         Princess/Prince expects everyone to wait on them hand and foot and expects the world to revolve around them as they see fit and are very hard to please.


·         Pauper expects the absolute worst; worst service, worst selections, worst prices and virtually impossible pleasing this guy.


·         Proponent expects the best and may not actually get it – but more than likely will not get the worst.


Who do you think I would like to wait on?


Positive expectation is positive, patient energy.  It is compassionate, forgiving and easy to work with.  If your expectation is more like a demanding right, then you have missed my point to the extreme and should be categorized as a negative expectation also.  When I am around a positive person, it is exciting, fun and encouraging.


Conversely, who wants to be around a negative Neddie?  So I asked this question to you as a service provider – Do you want to be around this guy?  Do those to whom you work with want to be around this guy.


If a customer has negative expectations they are usually demanding, demeaning, rude, impatient, etc.. What does that create in a customer service staff?  One huge circle – rude customer -> rude customer service provider -> rude customer – lather, rinse, repeat.  Customer no come back, business fails, then what? 


When I felt my negative expectations dominate my attitude during my shopping spree, I was exhausted, my blood pressure was high and I was not pleasant around friends and family.



So as a customer what do you expect? 

·         Do you expect everyone to come to your beckon call? 


·         Do you expect to be treated like you don’t exist?


·         Or do you expect to have a great attitude no matter what, treat the provider with patience and appreciation?



Just be nice no matter what – who knows you might just get your order before others do.  (It’s just the right thing to do!)


I am not saying that as I walk into a place of business with a positive expectation and with this expectation I will be treated well or my exact item is available or I expect the red carpet treatment and a choir of angels singing.  This is not a perfect world.

What I am saying is this; if you have a positive attitude coupled with positive expectations plus putting people first, then I think you can certainly diffuse many problems.  You will see a different outcome.


Being a proponent does not guarantee a positive experience.  No matter the situation, one can always be civil and vocal without debasing another.  Sometimes, you just get bad service – no matter what. 


And so my crusade continues....

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