Ageno School Prof Offers Advice on Receiving Solid Customer Service

Ageno School

Professor Kit Yarrow of Golden Gate University’s Ageno School wrote a recent article for addressing ways in which consumers can receive exemplary customer service during the post-holiday season.

This is a time filled with returns of consumer goods, increased need for financial services (as we make resolutions around money), and need for assistance (as we figure out the technology of new devices).

Yarrow, a consumer research psychologist, has interviewed numerous shoppers extensively about the topic of customer service. She has reached the same conclusion over and over again, which is that consumers’ expectations are not met in the realm of service. She writes, “Consumers increasingly expect more. In addition to sales service, shoppers have new demands for technological assistance. They expect faster delivery and want more personalization too.”

“What is it about a customer service failure that is so maddening?” she continued. “A five-minute phone call over a $10 charge can reduce an otherwise rational, peace-loving person into an angry, shouting vigilante.” Yarrow notes the root cause of much customer dissatisfaction is often the absence of respect. She offers the following advice to consumers who seek to improve their experience with service providers: Be prepared; be kind; have the right attitude; make the interaction personal; inspire empathy; and have a solution in mind.

If these tactics don’t work, Yarrow writes, consumers can take things to the next level by reporting rude service providers; publishing reviews in online forums, and taking one’s money elsewhere.

Professor Yarrow is the author of two books: Decoding the New Consumer Mind: How and Why We Shop and Buy, and Gen BuY: How Tweens, Teens and Twenty-Somethings Are Revolutionizing Retail.


About the Author

Maggie Boccella

Maggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city's annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.

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