Business Practices | | Published June 04, 2013

The Best Help Desk Teams Will Tell You: There’s No Room for Paranoia in Customer Service

TeamSupport Related TicketsCustomer service tips from the best client support teams

Even if you are running one of the best help desk services, at some point in your customer service career, you will experience a particular twinge of fear.

Perhaps you have just come up with a great idea for a way to revitalize your entire help desk into a more collaborative customer service team. And then it hits you: What if customers find a way to exploit what you’re doing and ruin the business?

Or maybe you are experiencing a particularly bad case of sour grapes. Your competitor unveils something really cool with their customer service that’s getting them a lot of attention. Your first reaction isn’t to wonder how they did it or how much money they’re making but to scorn them for their carelessness. No doubt customers are just running over them, you think, and they’ll be toast in no time.

Whatever the case, you’ve got a big problem on your hands. You’re assuming the worst of your customers and think they’ll do nothing but harm. Being this paranoid about new developments is not very healthy and may mean bigger issues are at stake.

Going Out on a Limb

Naturally you can’t always trust everyone in the world to do the right thing. You have to be smart about everything you do so you don’t get burned. However, living in fear that everything will go wrong won’t help you one bit. Innovation was born from fear. In today’s competitive marketplace, if you want to succed, you must try new things with your business and customer service.

For example, what is your company’s return policy? After working in the customer service industry for so long, you realize you’ve heard every single story out there. You might even start to get a little hard-hearted about the whole thing. Many customers, though, still need to return or exchange their items – things do happen.

So you make the decision to turn your return policy to a “whatever the customer says” model. Dog ate it? Fine, here’s another. Lost in the mail? No problem. Not the item they ordered even though you packed it yourself? Strange, but maybe it was switched in the mail. In any case, boom, replaced!


Worth the Risk

You are probably starting to cringe here a bit, thinking of all the ways customers can get one over on you. That’s where the fear and paranoia creeps in. You’re assuming customers out there are actively thinking of ways to scam you.

Okay, maybe there are a few people out there who don’t have the best intentions. It happens in retail whether you’re online or offline and no matter what you sell. But watching out for the 1% of jerks ends up hurting the 99% of honest customers.

In the end it’s going to be worth the risk to try your big idea. You just have to remember to separate being cautious from being paranoid. It makes sense to use your head and common sense to ensure someone doesn’t scam you out of house and home…and business.

As an example, you may run into someone who makes repeated requests for replaced product. After the third time you’ll naturally be suspicious and implement measures to check what they’re saying is true, like pictures of the broken product. If they don’t comply, chances are they were up to something.

But that’s just being cautious. If you were paranoid, you wouldn’t try your big new idea in the first place. And that would be a shame!

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