1. Make sure you have insensitive staff. Do this by treating them insensitively yourself. Don’t show any empathy if they are having personal problems, don’t show you care if they are feeling overwhelmed on the job, don’t offer to help if you see they need your support with a customer. So what if the customer just needs someone to listen to them and hear what their concerns are, the staff are just there to process transactions, aren’t they?
2. Give customers the run around. Why should you have to train all your staff on how the whole process works? For example, in a college, why should you educate someone in registration to know what the people in financial aid do? Just let employees answer the phone and guess what department they think can answer the question and transfer the customer. By the time, the customer gets to the actual person who can help them, they will be nice and angry.
3. Don’t assist. When a customer looks confused or appears to need assistance, look the other way and ignore them. You have a job to do and when you have to take time away from that task and help someone, that takes time. If they really need your assistance, they will eventually ask you. No need in being proactive.
4. Act superior. The customer doesn’t know as much as you do; therefore, that gives you power over the customer. Speak in a condescending tone to them when they ask you a question. Use as much jargon as possible to make them feel uncomfortable and show how smart you are.
Would we ever knowingly want to do the above to give poor service to our customers? Of course not. But, as we all know and experience on a day-to-day basis, these behaviors and actions are part of what we each experience as customers whether it be in a retail environment, hospitality, medical, educational, or financial institution.
The key is to make certain that these behaviors don’t happen with our staff. First, remember that internal customer service has a ripple effect to external customer service. Treat your staff the way you want them to treat your customers. Second, be a role model. Everyone is watching you so treat customers the way you want your staff to treat them. Third, be a trainer. Teach your staff how to give assistance and help customers, teach them how to talk in kind, friendly, conversational tones to your customers. Fourth, give recognition to employees when they do these good behaviors to show your appreciation so they will want to continue doing them.
What you are doing is creating the norms for a strong culture of excellent service in which delivering poor customer service is not acceptable.