“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.”  – Henry Winkler

Assumptions are made constantly.  Our brains categorize the world around us on a daily basis in order to understand or make sense of what we see, feel, hear, smell, touch, etc.  We attempt to try and understand what people are telling us and what they mean by reading between the lines quickly – categorizing.

We may be used to a certain conclusion happening when a set of events happens but, often, we forget that the world is unique and there could be a completely different conclusion for a similar event.  This is where we get into trouble.  We assume a conclusion only to be completely wrong.  What then?

Often, this leads to trouble in communication.  By assuming you know everything there is to know about a customer, you can frustrate them by not getting to the heart of the problem and never truly solving it.  This frustration could lead to anger or complete shutdown.  Train your customer service to never make assumptions.  Train them to handle each customer as a completely unique case and to speak to them with open minds.

The biggest way to head assumptions off at the pass is to simply listen.  Listen to the customers problems and set into action a specific chain of events that will produce a satisfying result.  It isn’t about quotas or bottom lines.  If your company wants to live another year, you need to satisfy customer issues.  Never send them into an automated cycle of inaction or read a lackluster script repeatedly in which you can’t offer any help that isn’t listed.  By having your customer service department think outside of the box and go above and beyond to solve a problem, that customer will reward you with loyalty and referrals.

Think about the chain of events if every customer walked away satisfied and referred your products or services.  That’s called longevity.

The most valuable training your staff can ever receive is to listen to the customers, keep an open mind and actually solve problems.  Assumptions are like termites.  Termites cause holes.  Holes sink your boat.  Keep your company above water!

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