Anyone who knows me knows that one of my biggest pet peeves is poor customer service. Just ask any one of my kids. They know that, if for example, when we go out to dinner, if something is wrong or if the service is poor, beware, there will be hell to pay.
Somewhere along the line, companies, who much prefer the bottom line, have forgotten about customer service. I’m not sure if it can be attributed to different mind-sets over time, or how people tend to treat one another, or just our society as a whole these days.
Most people can recall and recite many examples of poor customer service. The help desk employee that puts you on hold for what seems like an eternity; the waiter that forgets to brings your food; or my personal favorite, those automated phone systems that are of no help when you need help the most. “Please scream representative” if you know what I mean.
The term “customer service” evokes different images in people’s minds. One image could be that of friendly, smiling, helpful employees who go out of their way to serve you. Or it could be the opposite – indifferent, unfriendly employees who can’t wait for you to leave or hang up the phone.
Simply put, the definition of Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction.
The key words here are, service and satisfaction.
Good customer service is that feeling that one gets when a product or service has met the customer expectation.
On the other hand, Great customer service feels like a gift. It makes us want to continue to do business with an organization over the long haul. And that alone is the secret to business success – retaining customers by providing Great customer service.
Obviously, customer service plays an important role in an organization’s ability to generate income and revenue. Since a customer service experience can change the entire perception a customer has of the organization, wouldn’t you want to provide great customer service every time you deal with a customer?
So how do you deliver Great customer service?
It’s easy! Customer service is not a way of doing things – it’s an attitude!
Yes, an attitude and it all starts with a smile. Whether it is in person or on the phone, smile. If you are dealing with customers remember to put yourself in your customers shoes. We are all customers in one way or another and deserve the same respect we demand from others. Never forget what it’s like to be a customer!
Develop a helpful approach. “How may I help you” is very powerful and welcoming. You’re asking their permission to assist them. Remember to be genuine and sincere. By providing sincere and genuine service, you are giving your clients what they expect, as well as setting yourself apart from the competition. If you can go beyond what the client expects, even better.
Make the customer’s time with you a positive experience. You have but a few short moments to form a positive impression with customers. You don’t have time to complain about your day or anything else. Ask yourself, “How can I make their experience better?
These are just a few of my thoughts on providing great customer service. Have I captured everything that goes into it? Certainly not, but with so much competition out there, customer loyalty is the single most important attribute your business can have. You achieve loyalty by doing “the little things” that make customers want to deal with you again and again. The real difference is how a business makes their customers feel. If customers feel valued, most will remain loyal. If they feel under-valued, sooner or later they will defect to a competitor.
Feel free to share your perspectives and comments.