Excellent customer service is founded in reliability, timeliness and personal attention. Reliability is of the utmost importance as people do not want problems to recur after they’ve been corrected. A lack of reliability will most likely result in a dissatisfied customer who won’t return. And in today’s fast paced world, the timeliness of service delivery is critical to the customer. They simply don’t have time to wait or revise their schedule to accommodate auto repairs. Finally personal attention is the lynch pin that holds the relationship together. Listening to and understanding customer concerns, being attentive and communicating causes and corrective actions in a way that the customer can understand are paramount to excellent customer service. Achieving excellent customer service is not a onetime event or a permanent state. It is an ongoing continuous effort focused on improving every aspect of the customer experience.
Seeking Opportunities for Improvement
Continuously recognizing opportunities for improvement and implementing changes in response is the key to excellence in customer service. A successful business doesn’t wait to be told about improvement needs, they’re actively sought. Soliciting customer feedback can take various forms but any possible avenue should be used to your advantage. Instituting improvements before problems occur is the best course of action. But there will always be mishaps no matter how hard you try.
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning…Bill Gates
A customer that is unhappy enough to voice their dissatisfaction is usually an indicator that something was seriously missed. It may have been a onetime mishap, but it can be a great opportunity to improve your service. Listening and understanding is paramount in these situations. The objective is to identify the cause of the dissatisfaction. There is no disputing that these are tremendous opportunities to grow and improve.
It’s not the employer who pays the wages. The employer only handles the money. It is the customer who pays the wages…Henry Ford
If every employee understands that the customer decides whether or not they have a livelihood the goal of excellence in customer service is always within reach. This is the difference between activity focus and customer focus. Sometimes people become so immersed in their day to day activities that they lose sight of the customer. They forget that the only reason they do what they do is the customer that utilizes their company’s services. If an employee is not directly providing service to the customer they’re supporting someone who does. And every employee should always know this and understand the ultimate goal of excellence.
Reaching for the Goal
Excellence in customer service is an ongoing effort. Opportunities to improve should be used to your advantage whenever they’re presented and the business should be continuously adapting as circumstances change. The customer should always be viewed as the source of signals on how to advance toward excellence.