07 December 2006

What exactly is customer service?

Defining customer service is both simple and complicated in the same breath. I think that any interaction with a customer is a form of customer service. There are of course the traditional forms of contact such as a telephone enquiry, an over the counter sale, a letter or a meeting but there are many others that don’t spring to mind quite so readily when the topic of customer service is raised.

That said, there is little doubt that each and every interaction has a bearing on a customers perception of a business, often on a very subliminal level. This means that when addressing the issue of customer satisfaction we all need to look a little deeper at what this concept means to us. So, what are some of the less obvious type of customer satisfaction?

  • Is it easy to find the telephone number of the business?
  • Is it easy to find the physical address?
  • Is it easy to park?
  • Is the business inviting to enter?
  • Is the business well lit?
  • Are phone calls answered promptly?
  • Is the layout easy to navigate?
  • Can the staff actually answer questions?
  • Does the business smell?
  • Is the music too loud?
  • Is the signage easy to understand?
  • Are you treated with respect or are you just another number?
  • Do you have to queue for a long time to make a purchase?
  • Do the staff have good selling skills?
  • Is it easy to pay for your purchases?
  • Do they pay attention to the little things?
  • Is this a business that always seems to get it right?
  • Are emails answered promptly?
  • Do you leave this business thinking that you will recommend it to your friends?

There are many other questions that can be asked and ultimately they all deal with different aspects of customer service. I suggest looking at your business as a whole and try to identify every single way you can improve the service that you offer. You may be able to identify many areas that you may not previously have considered as being customer service orientated.

At the end of the day, if you can not only meet your customers expectations but exceed them you will end up with all the customers you could possible want.

One thought on “What exactly is customer service?”

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