The Importance of Customer Service, Part 1: Some General Thoughts

This week I am going to blog about a topic that is very close to my heart, one that I could go on and on about because of how important I think it is.  That topic is customer service.  I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that customer service is one of the most key aspects of a business.  It really makes the difference between whether one thinks that a business is just mediocre (and might use it again in the future), or whether they think it is a great business (that they plan on using again and again).  Customer service is a combination of little things and big things that a business does to make their customers feel appreciated and helped.

One of the basic rules of customer service (in my opinion at least) is to never make the customer feel that they are being an inconvenience in any way–even if they are.  Which is what makes it so difficult, because oftentimes the business does have to go out of their way to help the customer, and maybe even take a hit here or there in order to do so.  But at the end of the day, that customer will walk away thinking that they were cared for, and that their patronage was appreciated to the utmost degree.  And that feeling is what keeps people coming back, or telling their friends.

Good customer service has the above effect, whereas bad customer service has the opposite effect.  If someone is made to feel like an inconvenience as a result of asking for help, if the response time is much too slow, or if the assistance they do receive is of a very poor quality, they will do one of two things afterwards (or both): remind themselves never to use that business for anything again, or tell someone else about it.  Both of these results are a nightmare for a business owner, because they build a bad reputation which could be very difficult to fix down the road.

No matter what kind of business it is, whether it serves 5 people or 5,000, customer service should be at the top of their priority list.  I can not stress this enough, because it truly makes a world of a difference.  This week I will be focusing on what customer service can look like in different types of businesses/environments, and perhaps sharing some experiences of mine or friends of mine in this area.  We’ve all been served, or underserved by businesses, and I’m here to tell the tale.  Stay tuned!