Ginaherald's Blog

August 14, 2010

Characteristics of a customer service encounter

Filed under: Uncategorized — ginaherald @ 12:27 pm

Think about your favorite retail store, restaurant, car dealer, etc.   What is it about that company or establishment that makes it your favorite?  Great food?  Great service?  Great employees?  Great location? Great pricing?  A combination of the aforementioned qualities? When it comes to what we love about the companies we regularly do business with, most of them have some similarities based on customer surveys.

Among them are:  Fun/easy to do business with.  I know I love “easy to do business with” kind of companies.  Quick response/problem resolution (empowerment of front line employees).  Rather than anticipating a confrontation if we have a problem or concern (and we often go into them that way) these companies allow us to have a sense of relief that we’re going to get a quick and easy to accept resolution.  Follow up.  They do what they say they are going to do and check back in if necessary to confirm satisfaction.  Innovative.  We love innovation and creativity these days and appreciate those companies and organizations that demonstrate the ability to be innovators. They listen.  Wow.  Seems simple right?  Listening is a critical component of successful communication and one that few of us do often enough. Most folks when they have a problem are just glad that someone will actually show an interest in hearing them out and taking on the problem to get it solved. 

Our not so favorite companies have a few things in common too of course. They tend to be:  Indifferent and we can usually tell when someone has an attitude of indifference by body language as much as words.  They are difficult to do business with.  Could be due to location, business hours, return policy, service policy or any number of other things.  Management is out of touch with the customer and those who provide front line service to the customer.  Happens particularly when managers take an attitude of superiority to team members rather than the attitude of a servant.  Unresponsive.  They won’t return your call, expedite your shipment, refill your drinks.  They pass the buck.  It wasn’t my fault, my responsibility, someone else is to blame.  Many of us have heard that before. 

What astounds me is that struggling companies don’t see the error of their ways when they question why the competition is doing so much better.  Most of what we love are the kind of things that are very simple to implement. They take a commitment but it’s worth it in the long run to serve clients. 

What is it that you love about your favorite restaurant, retail store or service provider?


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