Success Monday: The 4 Cs of Contact Center Customer Service

Good customer service is all about courtesy, compassion, clarity and confidence.

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Customer service guru Teresa Allen recounts a recent incident where she was on the receiving end of some stellar customer service. How does your company field calls when an honest mistake is made? Follow Teresa’s 4 C’s.

“Recently I had to call the contact center of FootJoy regarding an order I had placed on their website for golf shoes. With a size 11 woman’s shoe, it is almost impossible to find golf shoes in local retail outlets. In the FootJoy order process, the size menu defaults to a size 5.5 and you change it to see if your size is available. I was excited to be able to find a pair I liked and ordered the size 11. When I got the confirmation email it said size 5.5 … Oh NOOOO!

?Needless to say, Cinderella was not going to fit in those 5.5s! I knew I had changed it to size 11 because I was excited to see that they had ONE pair left in my size. I called FootJoy customer service. Joe answered on about the second ring with a professional greeting, requested my name and asked how I was doing. It immediately struck me that he sounded sincere, so I replied, “I’m great Joe, how are you?” He said, “Wonderful, how may I help you today Teresa?” This was a great start for the conversation that followed.

When I relayed my issue, I fully expected a response that included at least a hint that I may not have selected the right size. Not Joe, he immediately expressed regret on the order snafu and immediately focused on the future by clearly explaining what ‘we’ needed to do next for me to get the shoes the fastest. He also commented on the fun colorful shoes I was ordering. He asked if he could put me on hold while he checked with the delivery department to see if they could still cancel the order. In a minute or two he came back on the line and confirmed that it had not been shipped out yet and that he would be able to cancel the order. He suggested ordering the new pair right away with a separate order since they only had one left in stock in my size and knew I didn’t want to miss getting it. He then explained how he would immediately process a credit to my credit card for the original order. He further explained how both charges would be on my card for just a few days, but that the credit would soon appear thus rendering only one charge. During this entire conversation, he sounded so clear and confident that I had no doubts my situation was being handled appropriately.

Think about how differently this could have gone. I could have called and been put through a long menu of service options, followed by a hold time, followed by a rep who sounded like they could care less about me or the product I had ordered, and who instilled no confidence in a good solution. Think about when you call customer service of a company … have you written a script in your mind of how it will probably go? Joe was able to surpass the expectations of my mind-script by a mile. As I hung up the phone, I pondered this and realized what a clear illustration my close encounter with FootJoy was of the all important Cs of customer service:

  • Courtesy from the greeting to the conclusion of the call
  • Compassion for my situation evident throughout the call
  • Clarity about what actions needed to be taken by the company and by me the customer?
  • Confidence in outcome instilled though confident handling by the representative

Kudos to Joe and to @FootJoy for hiring and training him to maximize customer close encounters!

Is your call center using the 4 Cs of Customer Service in every close encounter? If not, give me a call and we can discuss training in these common sense service principles.

Remember… service excellence happens one customer service close encounter at a time.  Invest in your success!”  

Teresa Allen is a highly acclaimed customer service speaker and is the author of Common Sense Service: Close Encounters on the Front Lines. Visit her website to find more ideas on building your customer service culture. To contact Teresa call 800-797-1580 or email:

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Tony Kindelspire

Tony Kindelspire is digital content editor of Sign & Digital Graphics & WRAPS magazines.

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