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Monday, June 29, 2009

Service the customer.

Most of us do customer service in one way or another. And most of us believe that customer service represents an investment and a commitment.

Customer service has become the ultimate commodity.

We all have had experiences dealing with good and bad examples of customer services, and some even have created an equation: it takes 8 good experiences to erase one bad experience.

You can find an interesting definition on Wikipedia:

"Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation."

Dealing with the customers expectations is complicated because our expectations tend to be higher and even unrealistic.

But the fact remains that customer service is about enhancing the level of customer satisfaction. And that is pretty tangible, easy to measure and easy to design a program and tactics around.

Why is excellent customer service so hard to find then?

Are our expectations so unrealistic? Why are companies so in the defense? why is it so hard to hear the words "you are right sir"?

I think that customer service is misunderstood. I believe that most companies and people feel that since clients expectations are so different and unrealistic, they will never be met and since I can't satisfy everybody, I aim at the middle and go on with it.

Obviously this is the wrong tactic in a day where so many people can so easily share their experiences and opinions.

I'm not an expert but I am an avid observer and I think that there are 3 easy ways to enhance customer satisfaction:

  1. Listen to consumer's experiences and questions and engage in an honest conversation with your customers. Create an environment that facilitates this exchange.
  2. Reward those who care enough to speak about your brand or service, even if it is bad.
  3. Consider every moment an opportunity to enhance my experience. Be creative and innovate your service in unexpected ways. You will always over meet an expectation that people didn't have.

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