Having worked in the service industry for a number of years, I’ve developed a good sniffer for recognizing good customer service. It’s not rocket science, but, when done right, it can be an art. Some businesses have it and some don’t. Consider:
I walk into a clothing store. My presence goes unacknowledged. I pick a few shirts and head for the dressing room. I’m about to give my clothes to the attendant when I realize I’m IN THE WAY of an employee (also trying on clothes) checking herself out in the mirror. She’s not apologetic and actually seems irritated that I’ve interrupted her.
That was the last time I shopped with them.
My husband and I go to a local steak house. It’s our first time to visit and we have reservations. The hostess invites us (by name) to follow her to our table where we are greeted by a waiter who wishes me a happy birthday. (My husband mentioned it was my birthday when making the reservation, but no mention of it by us since being here, so it was clearly noted with the reservation.) I notice the waiters helping each others’ tables and general team spirit abounds. It’s a good vibe all the way around.
I’ve been back on a number of occasions.
What’s the difference?
Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Customers want to be treated a little bit special. That doesn’t mean you have to know my name and my dessert preference (but that is nice!).
- Lame Customer Service: You act like you have better things to do than sell me your product. I’m sad I spent my money with you.
- Basic Customer Service: You sell me your product with a smile on your face. I’m happy.
- Amazing Customer Service: You sell me your product, smile, and offer me an insider tip or make a thoughtful suggestion on another product I might enjoy. I’m feeling good about spending my money.
Unless you offer a truly one-of-a-kind product, odds are you’re competing with a lot of other businesses to sell the same product to the customer. What makes you worth doing business with (and doing business with again?) over your competitors: Good Customer Service. Do it, and do it well.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy: The Real Value of Good Customer Service.