We’ve all read books about how to provide great customer service. They always seem to focus on the specific skills needed to be successful: listening, patience, empathy, problem resolution and telephone skills are just a few.
And to my mind, there is no way a man can compete with a woman when it comes to providing great customer service.
Let’s look at the facts of why women are better at customer service than men…
When my wife tells me a story, she adds incredible levels of detail. She has all the specificity of a big-city lawyer when explaining the most basic of situations. I don’t know how she does it! But, no matter how convoluted it may seem to me, when the same story is told to another woman, they listen with spellbound attention.
For me, I shut down and only hear the words I want to hear (which are every 4th one or so).
I must admit, how can men provide great customer service without listening to all the facts? Women win at listening.
This one is an easy win for the ladies. Men are as patient as a roadrunner. We’d rather dart around like that little desert bird in search of a meal than sit patiently gathering the facts and positioning ourselves for the best outcome.
How does having patience help with customer service? Well I guess you never had to deal with an upset customer!
“I don’t have time for this”, we’ll say. But my wife? She has all the time in the world.
Here’s more proof from everyday scenarios.
Talking to the clerk at the dry cleaners when dropping off clothes, she has plenty of time. Waiting for me to try (in vain) to explain why I forgot to use the coupons when I went to the supermarket, she has plenty of time to listen…and make me feel guilty.
And, when my kids were young, braiding their hair and reading a bedtime story to my daughters, she ALWAYS had time and the patience for that. She’s a good mom. Women win at patience.
We are supposed to “feel the pain” and dissatisfaction of our customers when they don’t receive the service they believe they are entitled to. It’s not enough to just say “I’m sorry” to an upset customer; we must do much more than that.
Think of what a woman would say to one of her girlfriends when she finds out her boyfriend cheated on her…
It’s not enough to just say “I’m sorry” to an upset customer; we must do much more than that.
“Oh honey, I know, I know. He’s such a jerk; he doesn’t deserve a beautiful woman like you. You can do better than him. I know what it’s like; my ex-boyfriend did the same to me. That’s terrible, you’re not gonna stand for stuff like that.”
“Come on, come on, we’re gonna go out. We’re gonna find you a NEW man, a man that appreciates someone as special as you. I bet there are thousands of guys just dreaming of a girl like you.”
That’s as emphatic as hell and pretty motivational too!
What would a guy say? “Come on dude, snap out of it. Let’s go to grab a beer…”
Need I say more? Women win at empathy.
Customers don’t want to hear the reasons why something went wrong, they just want their issue fixed. Policies, procedures, rules and regulations don’t matter to them, nor should they.
As a guy, I’m not in the mood to worry, let alone argue, for most things that seem trivial to me. But for a woman that’s not the case.
Most guys find a solution to a bad situation by just shrugging it off and moving on.
Most guys find a solution to a bad situation by just shrugging it off and moving on. They say things like:
“The sale ended yesterday? No problem, I’ll just pay the full price.” “The warranty on my computer’s service contract just expired? That’s ok, how much will the repairs cost me”? “There’s no more in my size? I’ll just come back another time”. We give in too easily.
But not our lady friends. They are tenacious and never give in.
You have a problem? The lady is going to find a solution, and will do so without having to go to this counter or speak with customer service agent after customer service agent. Need a manager? Heck no, women don’t need a manager to get things done. Maybe the “empathy thing” kicked in again.
Don’t know how they do it but women win at problem resolution, every time.
My wife can talk with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Good for her. Me? I can’t wait to get off the phone, especially when I’m home and some telemarketer calls. I’m not rude but I refuse to talk to them.
NO, I’M NOT INTERESTED!
That’s my line. He can be my long lost uncle looking to give me a million dollars but I wouldn’t give him the time of day or more than about 15 seconds on the phone.
But my wife? It’s amazing what she can do.
She, and others I’ve had the mesmerizing chance to witness, can answer the phone call of a telemarketer trying to scam her hard-earned money and strike up a side conversation in an instant about Girl Scouts, their favorite vacation spot or any other topic.
The telemarketer’s goal is neutralized by the woman’s own telephone skill set. A few laughs later she’s off the phone, never having to even say “no thanks” or “I’m not interested”.
How the heck do they do that?
The customer service industry is one of the most challenging in today’s marketplace. Only those with thick skin and a myriad of polished abilities can be successful.
But most women can do it with ease. No need for training classes or certifications, no need for “customer journey mapping” software or reading book after book from the leaders in this field.
They have “it”, its part of who they are and part of what is missing from the average guy.
Now, you may say women are better leaders than men or women are better parents than men. You may even say that women are stronger than men.
But do you still doubt that women are better at customer service than men?
The customer service deck is definitely stacked in favor of women…
Do you agree or disagree?
This piece originally appeared on Steve's blog.
About Steve DiGioia
A 20+ year hospitality veteran, customer service trainer, coach, author & speaker and known as the "go-to guy", Steve is the author of “Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift…Even If You’re a Bad Waiter” and a featured contributor to many of the hospitality & customer service industry's leading publications.
A Brooklyn New York native, now residing in New Jersey, Steve continues his original customer service, leadership and management-based writings on his popular blog.