5 Customer Service Myths That Are Completely Untrue

Most jobs are customer service related, which means they are subject to mob mentality stereotypes.  If you really think about it, such mythological attributes are an obvious development in any given society, and like all non-truths, they can be very harmful.

If “harmful” sounds too dramatic a word for this description, consider this: as humans, we communicate through implied notions.  We hear things to be true, and unless verification exists to contradict these ideas, we accept them as truth—either actively, or subconsciously.

So open your mind and take a look at these five customer service myths and do your best to identify them for what they are—pure nonsense.

Customer Service Myth #1: Customer Service Is Beneath The Affluent.

For some reason, the notion of “customer service” is met with the assumption of a lower economic class.  It’s true that most minimum wage jobs—like fast food and retail—are completely reliant on customer service, but even the wealthiest of employees need to flex their customer service muscles every now and then.  Take doctors for example.  They may not be answering phones, handling money or assisting with paperwork, but they absolutely have to interact with patients—bam!  Customer service.  On a broader scale, look at corporate CEOs.  They may be calling the shots, but they still have to negotiate with outside vendors and other third-party entities in order to keep cash flow in the green.  Look out!  That’s customer service.  How about politicians?  You think those votes come in on their own?  No way—voters are their customers, and they have provide excellent service on a consistent basis if they want to keep their elected positions.

I think you get the point.  Customer service isn’t a “job,” it’s a philosophy, and even though a career title may not overtly say “customer service representative,” you’d better believe that there are going to be some customer service skills at play regardless of pay grade.

Customer Service Myth #2: Customers Are Always Out To Get You

It’s a classic fallacy: you run into one angry customer who wants you fired, therefore they’re all out to get you.  Sorry buddy, I’m afraid that you’re exaggerating—big time.  Unless you really do deserve to be canned—I’m giving you benefit of the doubt because we’re friends, right?—you have come across the one disgruntled customer in a pool of millions who probably wants everyone (s)he interacts with removed from the general vicinity.

The big thing to take home from this concept: people are all different, and therefore customers are all different.  Never let one (or two, maybe three) angry customers set the standard for all customers.  Customers, in general, are not out to get you.  Chances are they probably won’t even remember you (not an ideal situation, but it’s a reality).  So unless you really deserve it, a small handful of disgruntled customers angry with the world aren’t going to cost you a job.


Customer Service Myth #3: Customers Expect Everything For Free

Most customers don’t expect something for nothing because it’s a format that simply doesn’t work.  The entire basis of capitalism in founded on the trading of goods or services for money, and people understand that.  Customers don’t generally expect anything for free.

With that said, some people are swindlers—there’s no denying that—but they are a minority.  The problem here is very similar to myth #2: a tiny percentage of customers don’t play by the rules of society, and for some reason it’s these people that set a hypothetical standard for the general population.  Don’t let them corrupt your way of thinking.

One thing to keep in mind—providing things for free isn’t always bad.  For promotional purposes, free samples and the like can be a great way to get paying customers to come back.  You may also come across situations where a refund or other freebies may be tossed around to right a wrong.  These are ideologically different situations from the “everything must be free” mindset, and customers will recognize them for what they are.

Customer Service Myth #4: Unhappy Customers Will Always Complain

Customer service providers should always try to make customers happy, and the general idea is that the unhappy ones will let their woes be known.  This concept is generally true, but it leaves out a major factor that should always be considered: the silent customer.  And believe it or not, they’re far worse than vocally unsatisfied one.

Unhappy silent customers won’t complain to you or request to speak to a manager, but two very important things happen when they come into play: first of all, they probably won’t be coming back to you, which is exactly what you don’t want to happen.  And second: you’ll never know what upset them, and therefore won’t be able to apply an easy fix to a potentially damaging situation in the future.

Never assume that all customers will leave your establishment (or get off the phone with you) in a satisfied state of mind.  Talk to them, ask them how things are, and get to the bottom of any issues they might be having.

Customer Service Myth #5: Customers Understand How Your Business Works

Businesses are usually complicated entities, and every single one of them runs on their own unique process.  There is no way a customer is going to fully understand the ins and outs of your company, so never assume that they will.  It is the job of a customer service representative to act as the middle-man between a patron and a corporation—always be ready to translate things well to customers so that their experiences are as transparent as possible.

This particular myth is relatively hard to recognize.  A good many of your customers are bound to admit that they have no idea what’s going on, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones left in the dark.  Always be wary of customers who act like they know everything, because chances are they really don’t.  At the end of the day, they’ll appreciate your efforts and may even come back for more next time.

Why Should You Care About Customer Service Skills?

Customer service skills—they’re needed everywhere.  Think about any given profession.  Any job, occupation, career, whatever you want to call it.   Go ahead, take a minute.


I can’t read your mind, and even if I could, you’re reading this after-the-fact, so there’s no way for me to actually predict what you’re thinking.

But I bet it involves customers.

What, I’m right?  How did I do that, you ask?

It’s easy: we live in an economy driven by capitalism, which by its very nature requires customers.  Without customers (or clients, if you prefer), the very essence of business is lost.  A capitalist economy without customers is a movie theater without patrons, a concert without an audience, an empty restaurant without, well, customers.  It’s a concept that doesn’t work.

Customer service skills are in high demand.  They always have been, and unless there’s a grand shift in the international geo-political system (spoilers: not going to happen), there always will be.

And some people are always going to be at an advantage.

Customer Service Skills Superstars

Who are these people? You can find them in any given work setting, and they are born with natural customer service skills.  The best of them live and breathe customer service.  It’s a passion for them—from the moment that they start their work day they get into the “zone” and shower their clients with the kind of enthusiasm and gusto one could only expect from the most dedicated of employees.  

It’s tempting to suggest that their customer service prowess is an addicting phenomenon, but we live in the real world.  These “customer service superstars” may very well be an object of envy to their peers, and for good reason.  Those who excel at customer service tend to reap the benefits of their actions: 

Management always seems to favor them, and they are usually the first to get picked for promotions and raises.  

If the job is sales related, they almost always go over their quota, and therefore receive a much larger monthly bonuses.  

If nothing else, those with the best customer service skills usually enjoy their work far more than those who lack these skills altogether, an idea that really is rewarding in of itself.


The Customer Service Skills Secret Sauce

What’s their secret?  How do they do it, and while we’re asking this question, how do they manage to do it so effortlessly?  

These are good questions, but you should be asking the great ones.  Here, try these questions instead:

  • Can I improve my customer service skills and be as good as them?  
  • Is there a way to get customers (and/or management) to like me more?  
  • Can I get noticed and appreciated for my abilities as well?

The answers: yes, yes, and yes.

Customer service skills aren’t particularly hard to develop, so it’s surprising to find so many employees in customer related fields that lack even the most basic customer service abilities.  It’s not usually their fault, either—training is usually limited to basic job functions, and management usually expects them to have an inherit understanding of customer service.  This isn’t a problem for the “naturally gifted” folk, but for everyone else, a “sink or swim” philosophy can be quite daunting.  Failure is almost always guaranteed, in one way or another.

What happens to those who lack the “magic touch?”  Well, in most situations, they’re expected to be caught in the filter—to be “weeded out,” if you will.  The employees deemed “unworthy” of the customer service job will be let go, and a new batch of fresh recruits will be put on trial.

This is all well and good for a lazy corporation, but it can be devastating for the everyday worker.  Customer service employment makes several of the most common job categories in America, so someone who is let go from a customer service position is incredibly likely to find themselves interviewing for another one.  

Some may consider this a vicious cycle, but it doesn’t have to be.  Excelling at the art of customer service is something that can be achieved by just about anybody with the right amount of practice.

What do you mean “practice?”

Well, they don’t call them customer service “skills” for nothing.  As with any other set of skills—be it driving a car, scuba-diving, playing the guitar, whatever—practice makes perfect, and even the most naive of novices have the ability to flex their hypothetical muscles and become proficient in the art of excellent customer service.  

Don’t worry, it’s not particularly taxing, but developing excellent customer service skills does take a little effort.  That’s the bad news.  The good news: the basic underlying philosophy of customer service lies solely within the realms of every day common sense.  And despite what you’ve probably heard, most people do have a decent grasp of common sense.  In order to excel at customer service and develop strong customer service skills, one needs only to identify what the particular skills are and then take it from there.  

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Customer Service Skills are Universal

It doesn’t matter what your job is, the basics of excellent customer service skills remain the same—from corporate lawyers all the way down to fast food workers.  Sure, there are going to be subtle differences to consider, like the demographic of the cliental and specific job functions of the employee, but the end result will always be the same: make the customer happy enough with their experience that they return for more.  

If all of this sounds overly generalized, that’s because it is.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll say it again: customer service skills are universal.  Master the basics, and you’re set for success regardless of your employment status.

So again, why should I develop excellent customer service skills?

Before I spell out an obvious answer, let’s recap what we’ve learned so far:

  • Customer service skills run capitalism
  • Customer service skills are built around common sense
  • Customer service skills can be improved with practice
  • Customer service skills are universal

What does this all mean?

It means that you should develop better customer service skills because they will improve your career.  It’s as simple as that.  How you treat customers will always directly effect your job, your income, and by default, your life.  Develop better customer service skills, and reap the benefits.  You have nothing to lose, and much to gain.

A Perfect Strategy For Effective Customer Services

Customer services play a pivotal role for every company. The clients depend on the company for certain aspects and desire the company to provide seamless solutions to their problems. There are a million varieties of industries in the market, with different products and services. However, there is a similarity on the grounds of all the companies serving the clients with the effective customer care service.

The efficiency of the customer care service rests on how effectively they cater to the needs of the people. So, here is a basic strategy that will come useful to all the industries.

  • Be A Good Listener : Proper listening is the key to all industries. A good listener can assess the problems of the customers first and come up with effective remedies. So, the perfect strategy begins with listening to what the client says. The problems that the consumers face need to be noted. The executives must not keep on repeating his opinions and try to understand the problem from the perspective of the customer. This will help him to work more efficiently.
  • Attain A Common Ground Of Interest: Unless you create a good rapport with the customers, you will not be able to serve them well. The relationship between the customers and the companies need to be healthy, and no strains must be allowed to cripple the understanding between the two. So, a common ground of interest needed to tackle the situation. All you need to so is to understand the problem of the customers and admit it to be a problem. So, when you serve the customers, make sure that you understand the problem from their perspective.

  • Admit Mistakes: Mistakes do happen. However, the level of mistakes is to be kept at the minimum level. If your company happens to have made a mistake, admit it, and this will be a good strategy to keep the concerns of the customers under check. When you make a mistake, it might happen that the customer is not even aware of the fact. It is your duty to make them informed if you have made a fault, and this will boost up the level of credibility on your part.
  • Follow-Up Services: Customers expect the companies to be involved in the effective solution of their problems. Follow-up is an important component of the customer support services. When a consumer faces a problem, he or she comes up to you to get an effective remedy. When you get the problem solved, you need to ascertain if the problem has really been solved. When you get in touch with the customers for the feedback, they will let you know if they are really contented with the services. This will assess whether you have lived up to their levels of expectation.

With all these effective strategies of customer care, you will get the effective solution when it comes to a crisis of reputation and bolstering the brand image of a company. So, all you need to is to create a great customer support infrastructure.