Ghosted – Effective Customer Service Skills?

WRITTEN February 17, 2021 Author: Rich Atkins

Have you ever been in touch with a business you thought had good customer service skills, and made arrangements with them only to have them go dark at some point during the process?

In the dating world, they call this ghosting.

When two people are looking for romance, they go on a few dates. If things are going well, the dating and phone calls increase. But sometimes, one of the parties decides that it isn’t right, and goes completely off-radar; disappears from the face of the earth. They ghost.

Recently, we had an office improvement project to solve a problem with the balance of heat in the building, it involved adding a radiator to the kitchen. A plumber was hired that understood the situation and endeavored to meet our needs. They installed a radiator and the heat imbalance situation in the building was resolved.

Unfortunately, the radiator they installed on the steam system makes a very loud banging noise while heating up. 

The plumber was notified about this new issue, and an appointment was set up to have someone to look at it. During that service call, some problems from the original installation were discovered and immediately taken care of. Yet still, the radiator continued to bang. Another service call was scheduled.

After a number of times of them sending someone, and the person trying to solve the issue, they ghosted. They abandoned the project. They bailed. Apparently, they decided that the problem couldn’t be solved so they simply went dark. 

Could this problem be solved?

We don’t know, they never gave us a final answer. However, a steam radiator expert might have been better able to explain how and why the problem exists, as well as offer a potential solution for it. Don’t you think?

The best thing this company could have done was to have taken it on themselves to find a provider that could solve the problem. Even if it meant passing along additional costs to us, the customer, it would be better because the problem would have been solved, and they would have provided a path to the solution. 

As it is, they simply left it alone, did not return to our location, and did not answer or respond to phone messages to get the project moving along. 

The key takeaway here is to be mature and have enough courage to be able to respond to your customers, even with bad news.

If there is a problem that is something you cannot solve, let the customer know. If you are able to solve the problem, but it would mean going to extraordinary lengths, do it! It may be worth it in the long run.

Using strong customer service skills that are responsive to that client will earn you goodwill and potentially favorable reviews; along with repeat business and possibly a few referrals.

Image by nancy sticke from Pixabay 

This information is from our Customer Service curriculum. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of our public classes.


Stay Connected

Subscribe to the IC weekly newsletter for tips and advice on your communication skills!

Public Classes

Effective communication is empowering. Get started on your path to being more clear, brief, and effective.

Upcoming Classes