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Josaine Feigon

I can’t help it—I still like to roll down my window when I’m driving and ask someone for directions. I also like to ask the server to recommend something when I’m ordering in a new restaurant. And I always ask the salesperson if the nearest register is open so I can pay for my things.

But lately, when I walk up to someone behind a counter or call them, I get a blank stare, a suspicious look, or a non-word answer like “urrrr” or “mmmeeyah.” I feel like I’ve interrupted their deep thinking about life, their pets, or their latest idea for where they will go for happy hour. What’s happening to customer service?

According to multiple recent studies on buying habits, this is definitely more than a personal suspicion of mine.

  • In a Boston Consulting Group survey, millennials reported valuing “friendly service” much lower than other generations. They much prefer “speed, ease, efficiency, and convenience in all their transactions.” A whopping 81 percent reported valuing the quick lines and fast service of high-end fast food over slower, “friendly” table service.
  • OpinionLab’s 2014 study of millennial shopping preferences found that millennials love shopping at physical locations (especially malls), but place less of an emphasis on customer service once there. Instead of relying on service reps, they go to their devices to ask their friends, colleagues, and social networks for purchasing guidance.

Our business culture is evolving along the same lines, valuing efficiency and ease of use. The younger generations are only at the front of the trend. As any salesperson can tell you, customers of all types are less and less interested in engaging with a salesperson for the majority of the buying process.

With such a relatively low opinion of traditional customer service, it’s no wonder that salespeople have a hard time valuing it in their own careers! It’s definitely not a productive set of values for customer service success.

On some days, I’m convinced they simply don’t care about my question, me (the customer!), or their job. Millennials, listen up: When you are checked out on the job, everyone notices. It sends a bad message to your peers, your managers, and ultimately, your customers. Not good for sales!

There have been countless articles written on the Fundamentals of Customer Service, but this issue is deeper. Read all about in the “10 Things You’re Doing at Work That Say ‘I Don’t Care‘.”

When it comes to specific tips for inside salespeople, check these five signals you might be sending that show you simply don’t care:

  1. No information capture evidenced by poor or no note taking in the CRM.
  2. Slow or no lead follow-through.
  3. Showing up late at team sales meetings, team functions, delivering reports.
  4. Not pulling your weight on call campaigns, blitzing, feedback.
  5. An apathetic, negative attitude infects the group.

This article can be found here.

This post originally appeared on the Salesforce.com Blog here.

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