Silly Service Has Its Serious Side

Test Your Customer Service Knowledge!

Who says service is serious? Customer service can be silly too. Take this fun quiz to test your customer service knowledge. You may be a service ace if you both pick the correct answer to each of these ten questions, and understand why these answers are correct.

1. A complaining customer is:
A. Always right
B. Almost right
C. Often lying
D. Always the customer

2. Customers who complain:
A. Had unhappy childhoods
B. Are genetically predisposed to be sourpusses
C. Have trouble in their primary relationships
D. Are doing you a service in identifying what isnít working in your business or organization

3. The best reward for your customer service representatives is:
A. Earplugs and punching bags
B. Valium or other mind-numbing drugs
C. Recognition and appreciation on your part
D. Anger management seminars

4. CRM stands for:
A. Customers Rarely Matter
B. Canít Remember Much
C. Communicating Random Meaning
D. Customers Rudimentarily Managed
E. Customer Relationship Management

5. Customers who complain want . . .
A. Something for nothing
B. To be heard and have their experience validated
C. To vent for the sport of it
D. To be made majority shareholders in the company

6. Customer Service departments:
A. Are the afterthought that cleans up messes other departments cause
B. Build customer loyalty
C. Are leaders in understanding customer behavior patterns and market research

7. For a company to be considered service-oriented:
A. It must mention customer service in its mission statement
B. At least 18.3% of its employees must work in the customer service department
C. Its managers must at one time have been CSRs
D. Customer service must be addressed by all departments

8. A Call Center is defined as:
A. The midpoint in duration of a telephone call
B. A revenue sink hole
C. A place where middle-of-the-road calls coexist with liberal and arch-conservative calls
D. A location where complaints and problems are converted into successful saves for your customers and your company

9. Customer Care is:
A. A managed care medical program for customers
B. A nifty alliterative phrase that looks good in company brochures
C. A new program where customers care for themselves
D. A philosophy wherein the customer is wrapped in service even before a problem arises

10. Customer Service Culture is
A. A new form of yogurt where the lid removes itself for you
B. Behavior being analyzed in a Petrie dish for contagions
C. A mythical civilization in which everyone smiles and welcomes you when they meet
D. An environment where customer service permeates the thinking of the entire company


1. D. 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. D. 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. C. 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. E. CRM refers to systems designed to track and cater to each customerís whims and preferences over a lifetime. CRM is about managing customer relationships over the long haul by attending to their individual needs.

5. B. 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. Donít forget the emotional component in complaints.

6. B and C. When you solve a problem for a customer you actually build confidence and allegiance. Youíve 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 companyís products and services (and your competitorsí too) from real life customers. Thatís invaluable!

7. D. 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. Donít operate under the adage ďnever enough time to do it right but always enough time to do it over.Ē Get it right at the source, in all departments.

8. D. Make your call center is a shining example of your companyís commitment to its customers. Your center is a visible symbol of your companyís commitment to customer success.

9. D. Customer Care is a philosophy wherein customers are cared for by a company Ė the entire time theyíre customers. Care isnít 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. D. Customer Service Culture is the infusion of service ideals into every department, from sales, shipping and receiving to legal, human resources and beyond.

© Copyright 2002-2006 by Craig Harrison. All Rights Reserved.

How did you do? If you scored 100% you may write the next article!

If you scored 80% or better youíre a service ace.

60-80% you understand customer service.

If you scored below 60% donít fret. Make improving your customer service orientation a priority. Ask others what it means to them, take a class, read books and columns on service, subscribe to Craig's service and sales e-zine, (e-mail and book Craig for your next customer service conference, training or keynote event. Then youíll be a Service Ace!

If you found this funny, book Craig's JEST PRACTICES ó A Best Practices for Help Desk Humor:

Craig Harrison is a speaker, trainer and communication consultant who builds clear and confident communicators, and strong sales and service cultures. Contact him at (888) 450-0664 or through for help in improving your communication skills and customer service orientation. Visit his website at for more resources.

Sign up for his free customer service e-zine, Expressions of Excellence, by sending e-mail to

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