What is Customer Service?
Customer service means a variety of things depending on the industry. According to Zendesk, the noun, customer service, is “the assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services.”Zendesk states that:
- “customer service can make or break a business;”
- the human elements of customer service are what really defines good customer service;
- Winning customer experiences are about how a customer feels they are being treated;
- Excellent customer service is when a company exceeds a customer’s expectations.
Tara Ramroop, Zendesk’s Senior Content Marketing Manager, gave the following examples of good and excellent customer services respectively:
- if a customer has to repeat themselves while being bounced between different departments or waiting on hold, they aren’t going to feel heard or that their time was respected.
- delivering proactive support and anticipating customers’ needs or getting ahead of a problem before it happens. It can also mean going the extra mile to build deep customer connections.
Zendesk should know since the company is an industry leader in customer service.
. . .
When I hear excellent customer service, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Ritz Carlton jumps to mind. These companies were case studies reviewed during college years and to-date the companies continue to exemplify their standards. The stores’ and Ritz Carlton hotels’ exceptional services, relationships branding, and staff empowerment makes them stellar examples among their peers. Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus both have superior no-question-asked return policies. The store empowers its staff to accept each return no matter what or when the purchase was made, worn or damaged, and with or without the receipt.
Did I hear you say, “these are high-end stores that, with their items’ price tags, cannot afford to do otherwise?” True, but customer service should be utmost irrespective of whether a store is high-, medium-, or low-end; stores cannot actually afford not to provide stellar customer services. It is what ensures brand loyalty and repeat sales!
It irks me therefore when I experience a sub-par service anywhere. I tend not to return as a matter of principle. But if I do return a second time, it is often to try to erase the negative initial experience. If that happens, I return again, but if not, twice below-par customer service is enough.
. . .
In your business or profession, do you provide excellent customer services to your internal and external customers and/or autograph your work with excellence? If not, make this day, the beginning of going beyond and wowing your customers so they can not only return, but can attest to your superior qualities.
I leave you with the following customer service quotes to ponder on:
“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”Walt Disney
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”Maya Angelou
“The customer is king.”Philip Kotler
“The customer is always right.” –Harry Gordon Selfridge, John Wanamaker & Marshall Field
It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”Henry Ford
“It takes months to find a customer… seconds to lose one.”Vince Lombardi
“Great customer service doesn’t mean that the customer is always right, it means that the customer is always honored.”Chris LoCurto
Body language and tone of voice – not words – are our most powerful assessment tools.”Christopher Voss