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As customers, we've all been there: waiting in line for what seems like eons, only to be greeted by a grumpy employee who is more interested in checking her text messages than saying hello or getting us quickly out the door. Too often, customer service seems to be low on the list of priorities for employees and the companies they work for. But when we do have a memorable or excellent customer service experience, it can seal our loyalty to a specific organization or product forever. Superb customer service has many facets; how does yours stack up?
Superb customer service is service that consistently goes above and beyond customer expectations. Organizations acquire loyal customers because their customer service is consistently excellent, which encourages customers to continue coming back for the same great experience. If an organization can give every customer the same superior service, their reputation among their customer base will be strengthened.
In a fast-paced world, customers demand quick service. Superb customer service means meeting the customer’s needs as quickly as possible while delivering quality results. Employees should ask for backup help if needed and make an effort to work quickly and reliably.
In a modern world, customers often feel like numbers rather than individuals. Superb customer service interactions offer a personalized experience. Even something as simple as beginning a conversation with a smile can improve a customer’s experience. A first impression sets the stage for the customer’s overall feelings about the company. Knowing previous customers’ names or recalling the last time the person did business with the organization is one way great employees often personalize customer service.
Customers respond well to associates who are approachable. If an employee shows frustration over a customer’s demands or is rude, this will only frustrate the customer. An employee who is kind, courteous and demonstrates that he is devoted to solving even a difficult or time-consuming customer dilemma will keep that customer coming back.
The best customer service associates are those who make doing business with the company easy. They are willing to bend the rules if possible to make the customer happy, rather than simply saying "no" to the request. If a customer has a strange or difficult request, the best employee will work with management to find a way to satisfy it or will provide another solution that appeases the customer. Management often has power to bend the rules; a flexible employee will seek out any help she can to accommodate the customer.
Going Above and Beyond
There is a difference between customer service that is acceptable and customer service that is truly exemplary. The best customer service exceeds the customer’s expectations. Quality employees make an experience memorable by showing exceptional kindness or going out of their way to help a customer in need, which in turn makes a customer want to return. Offering a discount or coupon, or following up with a customer on a request rather than waiting for them to call is a great way to show excellent customer care.
Megan Martin has more than 10 years of experience writing for trade publications and corporate newsletters as well as literary journals. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.