The customer is always right

What is good customer service and what do we mean by good customer service?  No doubt, when it comes to customer service, there are variations on a theme. Equally, there are variations between what we think “good customer service” is and what good customer service should be.  This blog post looks at this, together with some questions to encourage your thinking.

Introduction to Customer Service

Customer service forms part of the pre, during and post sale/purchase experience and whether it is for a product or service. In terms of quality and whether it is ‘good customer service’, is equally open to interpretation.

We have different views, interpretations and outlooks about the world around us and what we deem to be good, bad, average and so forth. As a human race, we are born without judgement, without the desire or need to distinguish between what is good, bad, average etc. Instead, and over time, we learn and adopt certain beliefs, values and judgments. Whether this is always a true or false representation, is open to debate.

As a general rule, and at its core, surely good customer service is when ‘we’ feel like our purchasing experience has been professional, friendly, helpful and efficient?  That aside, there are so many different inputs/outputs to customer service, how do we even quantify what is ‘good customer service’?

What Influences the Customer Service Experience?

Let’s consider the factors that influence customer service and whether or not, we come away with a ‘good customer service’ experience. Ultimately, a customer service experience depends on cultural factors, knowledge and experience, training, leadership, technology, economic, marketing strategies as much as the individuals / agents who are there to provide customer service as well as the customers’ themselves.

With so many different factors involved and the fact that every individual is unique, is it any surprise that we experience and interpret customer service in different ways?  Plus, with marketing often making promises to attract and win buyers over, what impact is digital marketing, social media and technology having on the level of customer service provided and how much has this changed in the last +decade?

Closing Thoughts

Customer service is certainly important, if not critical, to the success, reputation, sustainability, scalability and ultimately, bottom line of every organisation and business.  If businesses and senior leadership do not listen, hear and act on what customers say, it could be the deciding factor in their future growth and longevity.

With social media, advances in technology and it’s availability, customer service is certainly more often than not, in the limelight. Whether or not it has changed for better or worse, is yet to be seen and open to interpretation.

Then there are the differences between industry sectors, businesses and the very people responsible for providing customer service to the end-user/buyer, more often than not, we hear about poor/bad customer service.  With tools like Trustpilot, Yell.com, Facebook, Google My Business apps to name but a few, customer service is becoming more prominent and a way that helps potential customers make buying decisions by the availability and ease of reading and leaving customer reviews.