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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Always follow up on messages, Web postings

Reading the title of this post, you’re probably thinking, “Duh! Who wouldn’t follow up?” Amazingly, some people decide not to, showing a gap in their customer service skills. Several recent incidents point out the need for a brief refresher on how to provide good customer service.

The topic of customer service could fill volumes. I’ll restrict myself to a handful of paragraphs. What I experienced serves as a great illustration of what can happen to you. My incidents involved two people and an organization. Here are the bare facts:

Person A: I posted a message on his Facebook page inquiring about a product he once sold. I wanted to know if he still represented the product, as I might want to buy some one day.

Person B: I posted a message on her Facebook page inquiring about a networking group that I knew she used to participate in. Didn’t receive a response from her. 

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