Customer Service - A Sweet Essence

Customer service is our number one priority at Lamp Shade Outlet article by Jim Hoyle

Due to unusually heavy call volume, our customer service agents are busy helping other customers. Your wait time is approximately 15 minutes. Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold...Please continue to hold...Please continue to hold...

Obviously, the company with the above recording has already created a working definition of customer service which begins with an insulting message proclaiming a hypocritical and virtuous statement of helping customers and how important the customer is to them.

First let us specifically define customer service. It is the performance of a duty or responsibility due to a customer as a result of selling them a product or service.

We must distinguish between customer sales and service versus customer service. Whereas customer sales and service is largely concerned with selling an additional item or an additional service subsequent to an initial sale, customer service is mainly concerned with customer care.

True customer service is synonymous with "ACCOMMODATION". When we sell a product or a service we accept the responsibility and the obligation to potentially provide our customers with a broad range of possible actions. These actions we define as customer service and may include necessary "ACCOMMODATIONS" to make the initial product or service reasonably useful in the way it was intended and in the way that it was marketed.

"Due to unusually heavy call volume our customer service agents are busy helping other customers. Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold… Please continue to hold… Please continue to hold…" WILL SOMEONE STOP THIS INSANITY !!! No article on customer service would be complete without addressing automated telephone systems. We are all consumers. It does not matter what else we do, whether we are manufacturers or clerks or customer service agents. We should make ourselves available so that our customers can speak with us. Nothing beats face to face contact but the next best thing is a person's voice. Overall, I believe that automated phone systems may be the worst single tool ever invented for all of us as consumers. There are a very few select companies whose systems serve us well by pointedly and quickly getting us fast service. But the vast majority of these automated telephone systems are nothing more than roadblocks to consumers. We have all been there and have been frustrated all too often. You might as well try to call the president of the United States.

WE, ALL OF US, ARE PUTTING EACH OTHER ON HOLD ON THE TELEPHONE LINE... !!! Why not hire a live breathing caring human being who knows their job depends on their customer. This is not rocket science !

Personally, I feel almost like I am giving away a trade secret because of our own successful and long standing policy: "Customer Service is Our # 1 Priority". But my ulterior motive is that I am also a consumer and I would love to be treated by each company that I deal with on this level.

So, when was the last time that you received outstanding customer service? Did you feel like you wanted to do more business with that company ? Did you like doing business with the people who were helping you ? Stop and think... right there is one of the most powerful forces in business: customer service, customer loyalty and customer retention. What else is there in business with such a sweet essence ?