This was the (sanitised summary) of a discussion I had with a friend recently about an organisation's customer service.
Customer Service (CS) staff are the organisation's front line for contact with customers. If a customer has one or more bad experiences with CS, then despite a company having an amazing product, the customer will become frustrated and eventually walk away. The worst case is that after walking away, the irate customer will tell people about it : even the media if they are so affronted.
Expectations of CS Staff
This is really basic stuff!!
Have good product knowledge
Have authority to resolve customer problems quickly and honestly
Be honest in dealing with customers - lieing to customers guaranteed to wind up your customer
Be willing and know when to escalate problems - escalation isn't failure for CS staff - its knowing that they are doing the right thing to resolve a problem. Toyota's LEAN production system gives line staff the authority to stop the line IMMEDIATELY they find a defect, thus saving money on later rework
How to spot a problem with CS
Meaningless job titles "Explorer", "Navigator". Sounds good, but what's the use of fancy shoes when you're running a marathon?
They are evasive dealing with customers: because they are either lacking authority, knowledge, personal skills to be effective in their roles.