Many attempts have been made to clearly define customer service. First and foremost, customer service should be about customers. But, most definitions take the organization as the central focus point.
I often see customer service definitions that look something like this:
"Customer Service is an organizational function that should meet the needs of its customers."
"Customer Service is a function of how well an organization is able to constantly and consistently exceed the needs of the customer."
Can you see how these customer service definitions place the emphasis on the organization first, and the customer second? This seems logical, of course, since it is the organization doing all the work in the customer service, not the customer.
Or is it? Is the customer service department doing all the work? Never think that for a moment, or you are cutting your customers short.
Remember that your customer:
• Took the time to look for and find you
• Has shown an interest in your product and information
• Spent time reading and investigating the information
• Maybe tried everything in their power to solve things themselves
• Attempted to contact you, via phone or e-mail
• And may have already paid you with their money
If you look at this, this customer must really be motivated. The other option was to just say goodbye. But this customer actually took the time to give you an opportunity to shine. Do not turn your back on this customer now, or they will turn their back on you.
It is time to take a more customer central approach to this. So, here is the definition, from the customer's point of view.
"A customer defines good customer service as how an organization has delighted them by exceeding to meet their needs."
So, what happened to constantly and consistently, from the previous customer service definition? Well, the customer does not care if you give others good service, as long as you give them good service all the time, but how you treat others is a good indication as to how you will treat them.
So you have to constantly and consistently, over deliver to make sure that the individual customer is delighted.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
James Chapman is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk