Have you ever contacted Customer Service and been connected with a representative that is too Happyeager to help?  If so, you’ll know that having someone who is overzealous in their approach to help can backfire just as much as someone who is unmotivated to help.

Lisa had a problem with a piece of electronics, so she contacted the company she had bought the piece from.  The friendly representative asked her about the problems she had been experiencing and welcomed the opportunity to help Lisa get her gear back on track.  “Initially, I thought I had hit the jackpot with this rep because she was so pleasant and personable.”  But what Lisa soon realized was that this particular representative was not actually focused on Lisa.  “She told me that there were a variety of ways I could try to resolve the issue, but then proceeded to dump every single approach on me with barely a pause to take a breath and follow up each bullet point with ‘Which I’m sure you’ve already tried’ before launching into yet another solution.  It made my head spin and definitely left me with the feeling that she was more motivated to impress me with her knowledge than to actually help me solve my problem.”  Remembering to take our time to get feedback from our customers will help us provide support tailored uniquely to them, leaving our customers feeling good about their interactions.

Darold has been a bit down lately, having received some poor news about a family member’s health.  So when he called his pool supply company to try to straighten out a botched order, his mind was on more serious issues.  The woman in Customer Service who took his call happily offered to help fix his order and launched into repeated attempts at upbeat chitchat.  “I appreciated her friendliness, but it was actually kind of exhausting to be on the phone with her.  I could tell she was trying to help me cheer up or that she wanted me to engage with her more, but I just have too much on my mind.  I felt like I would let her down if I didn’t match her incredibly sunny demeanor and so it became oddly stressful for me, feeling like I had to put on a show when I really just wanted to fix my order and be done.”  It is incredibly easy for us, as motivated service representatives, to forget that providing good service doesn’t have to mean providing the happiest service.  Paying attention to cues from our customers, our baseline aim is best set on being pleasant, professional, and polite and ramping it up from there by following our customers’ leads.

It is a careful balance we have to strike in our delivery of service: to share our knowledge in a way that won’t overwhelm our customers and leave them the focus of the case and to be friendly and warm without pushing our customers to change their own demeanor.  If we can keep our customers as the center focus of each case, we’ll have an easy time avoiding being “too much help”.