Smooth Out Upgrade Wrinkles With Customer Service Excellence

I recently upgraded the telephone system in our home and office. For the next two days everything about the phones went wrong: crossed lines, disconnected calls, non-working outlets, strange buzzing sounds.

Only after two additional visits by the service technician was the upgrade working as intended. Have you noticed how often this happens?

The new improved computer software runs slower than the version you just replaced. The latest hardware proves harder to manage than the system you abandoned. The new car goes back to the shop for an adjustment within two weeks when the old car worked perfectly for years. The new home has a door that jams, a roof that leaks, a window or floorboard that squeaks.

No one intends an “upgrade” to start out as a “downgrade,” but the pattern is familiar and occurs frequently. Since this is typically just a “breaking in” period, customer service excellence can help companies protect their image and ease client minds during the process.

Key Learning Point For Customer Service Excellence

Demonstrate customer service excellence by being upfront with your customers about glitches or hiccups that may occur – and be ready to provide help and reassurance through the early stages of implementation. Customer service excellence can go a long way in taking the pain out of an upgrade.

Action Steps For Customer Service Excellence

If you are upgrading or changing your service in ways that affect your customers, exercise customer service excellence and send them advance warning and acknowledge openly what everyone already knows: things go wrong, upgrades take time, it takes effort to locate and iron out the wrinkles.

Be positive and proactive about problems that may occur. Use honesty to build a bond of truth and a commitment to constructive collaboration. Customer service excellence can help you shine even as wrinkles are being ironed out.

And, if you are the customer, be prepared to hurdle the hiccups! Glitches with new systems are a fact of life. It’s how the company handles the response that truly matters.


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Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “Uplifting Service” book and founder of Uplifting Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit

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