You’ve probably heard (more than once) that the customer is always right.
They are not.
Of course, they don’t have to be right. They are your boss’ boss. They pay the bills. The customer is not always right, but they are always the customer.
Now that we understand that, let’s talk about what we mean by good customer service. To fully grasp what good customer service is, it’s important to also know what it’s not. Good customer service is not staffing a large customer service department or answering customer complaints quickly. In fact, good customer service is not even solving a customer’s issue. All of these approaches imply a reactive approach to the customer experience.
Good customer service means never having to say you’re sorry.
This happens when you focus less on solving customer issues and more on preventing issues in the first place. Lifelong, raving fans are not created by solving issues; they are created by proactively managing the customer experience, understanding that they’re always the customer and ensuring they never have service issues.
Think about the companies known for superior customer service. Companies like Chick-fil-A or Ritz-Carlton or Disney. These brands aren’t known for solving customer issues; they are known for creating great experiences. In other words, they are known for never having issues in the first place. They are controlling their customers’ real-life touchpoints; and they’re controlling these at the most important point: with those closest to the customer.
Companies known for great customer service understand that those closest to the customer control the customer’s perceptions, and they also understand that those closest to the customer reflect how they feel they are being treated. They know that frontline employees who are being treated great, will feel great, and will reflect that in their customer interactions.
Next up in the series: Chick-fil-A’s Secret to Mind-Blowingly Great Customer Service.
(If you’re catching this series for the first time, you may want to begin with the first post in the series: Why Does Good Customer Service Matter?)
Steve Stauning, creator of The Appointment Culture and an expert in The Customer Experience, is the host of Undeniable Advantage Live!, a monthly live video webcast and customer service training provider hosted at UndeniableAdvantage.com. He is also an extremely popular keynote speaker, writer, and industry consultant. Learn more about Steve at SteveStauning.com.