What you can learn from good customer service experience?
“You do not have to do anything extraordinary, simply do the ordinary extra well.”
Real life can often be your best tutor. This is especially true in the field of customer service and support. Success, as the saying goes, leaves clues. But how many times do you stop and take the time to really analyse what good service and support really looks like and what it takes to deliver it when you are the customer.
So, if you work in customer services, support or sales try this simple but really useful exercise. The fact is that while every business is different and different industries and markets have their own customer priorities, dynamics and nuances, when it comes to customer service, there are many universal truths. These can be very easily re-applied into a different market or area. For example, Apple based their customer service training for their early stores on the principles and practices of the Ritz Carlton hotel group. Upmarket without being stuffy. The standard of service in an average computer store, when they launched, was not one that you would rave over.
Here are the steps that will lead you to learn from the best customer service in any business and apply their techniques into yours service model..
Step 1: Notice them. First make a list of positive customer experiences that you have had for each at least three of the following categories, if you can! If nothing list the businesses or organisations that you give your custom to on a regular or repeat basis or you would recommend.
- Retail shop or similar
- Restaurant, cafe or similar
- Website purchase
- Financial services – bank, insurance or similar
- Expensive infrequent purchase
- Trades person or technical support call
- Travel – plane, train, car, car hire, hotel.
Step 2: Causes. Then, for each of your three excellent service experiences, make a short list under each one of what the company or person did. Why it was a such a positive service experience. The dynamics of customer service are universally applicable, if you can spot them. It is often the small, fleeting and almost imperceptible differences. The way someone makes eye contact, the speed they understand your problem, pausing between points to help you listen.
Step 3: Copy Now complete the following check-list to analyse each experience to see if there any parallels from their business that you can learn from and apply in yours.
Factors that make for excellent customer service…
What were the things that exceeded your expectation?
- Speed of service
- Courteous, patience and polite.
- Easy to do business with
- Inspired confidence
- Clear information and managed expectations
- Positive; offered options and alternatives
- What else?
Now make a list of how they did this – what were the techniques, behaviours and skills that created a positive result.
What did they do that was ‘brilliant on the basics’?
This is the secret formula of truly excellent customer service. You do not have to do anything extraordinary, simply do the ordinary extra well.
- Exceed the customer’s expectations in way that is of value and useful to your customer.
- Be different from your close competitors
- Base the service experience on personalty and adding the personal touch. When this is added to the good product and proven, consistent service process a customer cannot help but be delighted.
Copyright 2016 Graham Roberts-Phelps