In the day of smart phones, electronic purchasing, and internet communications, it seems hard to find good customer service. In fact, when interacting with someone I request a service from, I expect the interaction to simply take care of what needs to be done. I expect there might be a delay, and I expect I may or may not get a smile, but at least the task will be taken care of. I could even go so far as to say that getting the task taken care of is good customer service. That is until I have an interaction that meets and exceeds my expectations of good customer service.
At times, it is easy to forget that truly great customer service will actually give you pause to think about how happy the interaction made you. Truly great customer service causes people to be put off guard and even smile. In my case, it has caused me to not only write this blog, but to think, how can both myself and our organization provide even better customer service?
Two key ideas come to mind:
- Surprise people. We get used to what we expect, but when we are surprised by either an act of kindness or extra step, we are wowed. To do so, think about your customers and their needs. Then think about what they expect of you and try to outdo their expectations. Even the smallest of things can make a difference (e.g. how you answer the phone or following up with a personal note).
- Listen to people and be kind. Recently, my purse was stolen at a restaurant. Immediately, I called my bank to report the debit card stolen. The representative spent time calming me down, walked me through recent charges, and then cancelled my old card, as well as issued me a new one. I called to simply cancel the card and get a new one, but received much more than that. I got off the phone feeling taken care of and that the representative really did care about my worries. It is of the upmost importance when staffing positions that speak with your customers, that those you select to fill those positions take the time listen to others and have patience. Every little interaction can create a customer for life.
A great challenge for industry professionals is to attempt to do this each and every time we interact with a customer. In our industry, every single person who walks through the door, emails, or calls is a customer. Take the challenge and try your luck at creating a customer for life.