Quality Customer Service??
What is "Quality?"
The dictionary defines Quality as: peculiar and essential character; degree of excellence; superiority in kind merchandise of quality. Excellence and superiority are values for which we strive, and I think it’s fair to say that a level of quality matters to most of us in our daily lives. But, let's take this one step further in our business lives. What is Quality Customer Service? There are numerous adjectives that might be used to describe quality customer service. Some of them might be: Accessible, Accommodating, Accurate, Attentive, Cooperative, and Courteous. Or, how about: Diplomatic, Efficient, Helpful, Knowledgeable, Respectful, or Sincere? Yes, I’m going through the dictionary. 😊
Whatever your "bottom-line" description for quality customer service is, I think we can all agree that it something that we hope to find when we purchase a product or service. As customers, we all invest our time and/or money in things that we either need or desire. When we do this, we fully expect to receive our money’s worth for the product and/or service for which we paid, and we should have this expectation. But I would like to suggest that how we were treated during our purchase process is a very strong indicator of whether or not we received QUALITY CUSTOMER SERVICE.
Did the sales person working with me really listen to me? Were they knowledgeable about their products? Were they trying to fulfill MY NEED for their products, or simply trying to fulfill THEIR NEED by making a sale? Were they respectful and courteous, or did they simply rush through the process so they could move on to the next customer? Were they willing to go the "extra mile?"
Consider this possibility – your level of satisfaction with the product or service you purchased might very well be dependent upon the sales process itself!
I once heard, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." In our industry, customers can go to a myriad of suppliers to purchase the goods and services they require. So, what makes them come to you, or me? Product quality and pricing certainly are part of the equation, but not the entire equation. How they are treated, the level of respect they receive, the willingness to listen to their needs and suggest solutions that will add real value for the customer (not simply for us), and a willingness to go the extra mile will turn first-time customers into repeat customers.
In my experience, customers who have been treated that way have experienced quality customer service. And if you treat your customers to quality customer service, I can promise that they will become some of your most avid advocates as they tell others how you helped them with their business needs, referring new prospects (their friends) to you. What greater compliment can they pay you?
Why am I so sure? Because quality is rare. That’s why it’s special – and why most people will notice that kind of excellence when they find it.
So, the next time that you find yourself in a customer service-related situation as a customer, stop and ask yourself, "What kind of customer service am I receiving?"
And the next time you are the vendor or salesperson in a similar situation, ask yourself, "What kind of customer service am I PROVIDING?" Hopefully the answer will be a resounding “Quality Customer Service!”