This subject has been on my mind a lot in the past few days. It shouldn't matter what industry you are in save for collections and even then you can still exceed in customer service.
Have you ever thought about what excellent customer service means to you?
Since this has been on my mind for the last few days I have really been able to decide what it means to me so here goes.
Excellent customer service means trying to make any situation with a customer a pleasant one. If you have spoken or dealt with a customer before when in contact with them following times acknowledge the fact that you recognize them. It makes a huge difference with how they will deal with you because it makes the customer feel recognized and that itself creates a relationship where they feel like you have a vested interest in them as a person. Therefore, if say anything goes wrong or if a mistake takes place they will be more inclined to forgive and move forward. As the customer will have several personal memories of feeling like they have a relationship with you and since you are representing a company also a relationship with the company.
Another point of excellent customer service is going above and beyond and treating each customer/client like they are the only people in the world at that moment and your sole purpose is to make sure they have either a pleasant experience or walk away with the answers they were seeking (even if only marginally so). Now I accept that you can't make everyone happy but there are customers out there that it won't matter what you do they are still going to be unhappy but if you can walk away from the experience knowing that you did your best to try and remedy a situation then you can take pride in knowing that you provided the best customer service you could with the time and means of what you have.
The biggest thing you can do to create great customer service is to make the other customer smile. Why? Well, when you smile even if you are faking it creates good feelings. Even if you have to fake a smile when your dealing with a frustrated customer it will come through in your voice especially if you work in a call center environment where you are not dealing with customer/client face-to-face. That is why in most outbound call center's they have the motto SMILE AND DIAL. A smile can change you entire demeanor in person and in the infliction of your voice.
To me excellent customer service it needed to create lasting relationships with customers/clients in order maintain and build any company. It is fundamental in creating a loyal customer base, if a customer/ client feels like they have a personal relationship or personal interaction with you and you represent the company that feeling will extend to the company. Think about it.
Have you ever had a negative encounter with a company but because that one person in the organization seemed to reach out to you and made it feel like they were putting in special effort just for you that at the end of the encounter you still walked away feeling positively about the company. I know I have several times throughout my life and to me that is the true meaning of customer service. Creating positive relationship with customers/client for the benefit of the company and it's long term goals.