The question we have to ask ourselves is what great customer service? Well, I have a two pronged definition to define effective customer service. Here it is.
Mark Bowser, Motivational Business Speaker two pronged definition of Customer Service:
1. Finding a need and filling it.
2. Doing for the customer what you know they want done for them.
Let’s break this down a bit. First, finding a need and filling it. What does this really mean? Have you ever heard the saying that the customer is always right? Of course you have. Your customers keep preaching that to you. But let me let you in on a little secret. It’s not true. That quote has been taken out of context for years. In fact, it is only half the original quote. The challenge is that you have probably only heard it that way and even more challenging is that your customers have only heard it that way too.
The entire quote was from Marshall Field and he actually said, “Right or wrong, the customer is always right.” This means something totally different. You see your customer may not always be right, but they are still the customer.
Sam Walton of Wal-Mart perfected this. Sam understood that his customers weren’t always right, but he more importantly understood that they were the King, the Queen,…the Boss. Sam understood that he worked for the customer.
Everyone once in awhile, a customer would walk into the door of a Wal-Mart and say, “I need this….” When in all actuality, that wasn’t what they needed at all. They needed something totally different. You see, finding a need and filling it doesn’t mean you give the customer everything they say they need. That may not be right for them. The key word in Customer Service is service. What if Sam gave the customer what they said they needed and then six weeks down the road, they discovered it didn’t work? Who are they upset with? Right, good ole Sam and Wal-Mart.
What I mean by finding a need and filling it is finding the customer’s true need. What are the results they are looking for? When it is all said and done, where do they want to be? That is their true need and that is the need we need to fill. Now, I will admit, this makes your initial job tougher. You have to connect with the customer. Your bed side manner has to be awesome. You need to communicate with that customer and help them understand why your approach will work in giving them the results they are looking for.
Two, do for that customer what you know they want done for them. Many of us were taught the Golden Rule as children. That is exactly what this is. Well, how do we find out what they really want? The first thing we can do is ask ourselves, “What do you want as a customer? What do we like and what irritates us as customers?” That is the first clue for what our customers want. The second clue can be attained by simply asking them. Ask the customer. “What can I do for you today Mr./Mrs. Customer? Take this practice to heart and you will be well on your way to providing outstanding customer service.