4 elements of excellent customer service

Often considered a lost art, good customer service can define a firm. Even if prices are lower elsewhere, customers will reward those businesses that seem to care. It’s often the simplest gestures that win the day, too.

What is good customer service, examples of good customer service, excellent customer service, good customer service examplesA recent incident reminded me of what it means to provide excellent customer service. Customer service starts when the person walks in the door. This incident involved a trip to an auto service station. Most people–especially the elderly–cringe at the thought of taking the car in. In this case, the individuals were treated well. I noted several key examples of good customer service. Study and practice these as needed.

1. Listen carefully. We Americans have a knack for opening our mouths before the other person has closed his. Don’t interrupt, even if you think you know what’s coming. Wait for the person to complete the statement or question. That is basic courtesy. But there’s more.

By waiting, you ensure that you fully understand the person’s need. That way you can provide the best response.

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Good customer service starts with the incoming call

How many times have you called a business and encountered the “voice mail tree”? Remember how many layers you had to go through to finally reach a live person? I’ll bet more than once you hung up in frustration. You know that good customer service starts with having a person answer the call.

Now consider this: If your company employs that system, known as an Automatic Call Distributor, your customers and prospects are probably encountering the same situation and acting the same way, by hanging up.

I faced that one day, and it was not fun. Needing some information about my cell phone account, I called my provider. (I should note that I have switched carriers for an unrelated reason, but this incident still offers a lesson.)

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