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Guest Blog: Are You A Customer Service Ace?

This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Craig Harrison shares a quiz with us to test our customer service knowledge. Good luck and let us know how you score! – Shep Hyken Test your customer service knowledge and learn how to be a service ace by picking the correct answer […]

This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Craig Harrison shares a quiz with us to test our customer service knowledge. Good luck and let us know how you score! Shep Hyken

Test your customer service knowledge and learn how to be a service ace by picking the correct answer to each of these 10 questions.

1.  A complaining customer is:

  1. Always right
  2. Almost right
  3. Often lying
  4. Always the customer

2.  Customers who complain:

  1. Had unhappy childhoods
  2. Are genetically predisposed to be sourpusses
  3. Have trouble in their primary relationships
  4. Are doing you a service in identifying what isn’t working in your business or organization

3.  The best reward for your customer service representatives is:

  1. Earplugs and punching bags
  2. Valium or other mind-numbing drugs
  3. Recognition and appreciation on your part
  4. Anger management seminars

4.  CRM stands for:

  1. Customers Rarely Matter
  2. Can’t Remember Much
  3. Communicating Random Meaning
  4. Customers Rudimentarily Managed
  5. Customer Relationship Management

5.  Customers who complain want . . .

  1. Something for nothing
  2. To be heard and have their experience validated
  3. To vent for the sport of it
  4. To be made majority shareholders in the company

6.  Customer Service departments:

  1. Are the afterthought that cleans up messes other departments cause
  2. Build customer loyalty
  3. Are leaders in understanding customer behavior patterns and market research

7.  For a company to be considered service-oriented:

  1. It must mention customer service in its mission statement
  2. At least 18.3% of its employees must work in the customer service department
  3. Its managers must at one time have been CSRs
  4. Customer service must be addressed by all departments

8.  A Call Center is defined as:

  1. The midpoint in duration of a telephone call
  2. A revenue sink hole
  3. A place where middle-of-the-road calls coexist with liberal and arch-conservative calls
  4. A location where complaints and problems are converted into successful saves for your customers and your company

9.  Customer Care is:

  1. A managed care medical program for customers
  2. A nifty alliterative phrase that looks good in company brochures
  3. A new program where customers care for themselves
  4. A philosophy wherein the customer is wrapped in service even before a problem arises

10.  Customer Service Culture is

  1. A new form of yogurt where the lid removes itself for you
  2. Behavior being analyzed in a Petrie dish for contagions
  3. A mythical civilization in which everyone smiles and welcomes you when they meet
  4. An environment where customer service permeates the thinking of the entire company.


  1. Customers are often wrong but they never stop being the customer. Right or wrong they are to be accorded respect and cared for. Focus on the insights their complaint offers.
  2. Complaining customers alert you to systemic problems before they drive off more customers. Their complaints represent many more customers who may not spend the time to tell you about problems, instead just leaving you for your competitors.
  3. Your staff deserves and thrive on recognition and appreciation. Take the time to celebrate them collectively and individually. Whether through cards, gifts, surprises, outings and acknowledgements at company functions, let them know how important, valued and appreciated they are to you and the company.
  4. CRM refers to systems designed to track and cater to each customer’s whims and preferences over a lifetime. CRM is about managing customer relationships over the long haul by attending to their individual needs.
  5. Complaining customers have several needs. Implicit in their actual complaint is also a need to be heard and their unhappiness acknowledged. Fixing the problem is important. So is letting them know you understand their displeasure and feel for them. One without the other is an incomplete remedy for customer complaints. Don’t forget the emotional component in complaints.
  6. B and C. When you solve a problem for a customer you actually build confidence and allegiance. You’ve proven you stand behind your products or service, giving customers a warm and fuzzy feeling of safety and protection. As well, you tap the pulse of the customers. Their complaints and feedback give valuable insight into how well your products are assembled, documented, sold and hold up. Listening to customers tells you a great deal about your company’s products and services (and your competitors’ too) from real life customers. That’s invaluable!
  7. A Customer Service orientation must transcend the service department. All departments must understand and model good customer service for the company to be considered strong in service. Many problems can be avoided outright by attending to customer service. Why should the customer service department carry the weight of service for the entire company? Don’t operate under the adage “never enough time to do it right but always enough time to do it over.” Get it right at the source, in all departments.
  8. Make your call center is a shining example of your company’s commitment to its customers. Your center is a visible symbol of your company’s commitment to customer success.
  9. Customer Care is a philosophy wherein customers are cared for by a company – the entire time they’re customers. Care isn’t just to be administered as a salve for problems. Demonstrate care from the start and your customers will flock to your products and services.
  10. Customer Service Culture is the infusion of service ideals into every department, from sales, shipping and receiving to legal, human resources and beyond.

How did you do? If you scored 100% you can write Shep’s next guest article!

If you scored 80% or better you’re a service ace.

60-80% you understand customer service. Now deepen your knowledge!

If you scored below 60% don’t fret. Make improving your customer service orientation a priority. Ask others what it means to them, take a class, read Shep’s books and columns on service. Then you’ll be a Service Ace!


Craig Harrison, the chief expressionist of Expressions Of Excellence, is “the voice of customer service” — a speaker, trainer and communication consultant who builds clear and confident communicators, and strong sales and service cultures. Contact him at (510) 547-0664 or through for help in improving your communication skills and customer service orientation. Visit his website at for more resources.

For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article:

Regardless Of The Economy, Never Put Customer Service On The Chopping Block

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