Kill Them With Kindness

“Thank you so much, Leah! You’re the BEST. Keep up the good work.”

“Leah is always here when I need her. She’s so kind and helpful. Thanks, Leah. You’re wonderful. Keep up the good work.”

“I’m a patient guy. And you look so kind and nice, I could wait for ages!”

Yes, I’ve only been working in Customer Success for two weeks. Yes, these are a couple of things app users have sent to me…. But don’t be fooled. It’s not all butterflies and roses. 

I’ve conversed with frustrated users as well. People who blame me for the bug they are dealing with or the inconvenience they are experiencing. When it comes to every user I talk to, my goal is to always “Kill them with kindness”. That saying is often used when you are being treated wrongly. You “kill them with kindness” when you are overly kind to people who aren’t kind to you. 

In Customer Success, you need to be over-the-top kind. 

  • Apologize for the inconvenience or confusion this issue might have caused. 
  • Be friendly at every turn. A smiley face can go a long way in connecting with a customer. Showing them they are talking to a real person. 
  • Be real with them. You can be open about the situation at hand. You can tell them why the bug they are dealing with hasn’t been solved yet. If a customer understands the circumstance, they are less likely to be frustrated.
  • Set the mood. If you are setting an “I’m truly here to help” mood, that can help a customer feel at ease. Make sure they know that no matter what, you will take care of them. 

(P.S. These principles don’t just apply to customer success. If you are kind to your co-workers, boss, business partners, it can drastically change those relationships for the better.)

Not all customers will react the way you think they should. They won’t always be friendly or patient in return. I had a customer who acted like I was the one who made an error. I didn’t take it personally, because the person didn’t know me. They don’t know the people I work with. We are humans dealing with complicated tech and trying to create a successful business. 

Here is where I “killed with kindness”. I apologized for the confusion. I refunded him. I was honest and told him we are humans that make mistakes. If an issue ever comes up, we do what we can to make it right. The user didn’t show me kindness. I treated the user with the same kindness I’d treat someone who was sending me kissy face emojis. (Yes, I do get those.)

If you are consistently kind, it should provide no reason for the customer to be mad at you personally. You can be the middle ground. You can support, encourage, and assure them that the issue is being addressed. You want the issue to be solved just as badly as they do.

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