I met an amazing group of women last weekend. It was just a social ladies afternoon tea for a dozen or so like-minded women. We didn’t all know each other previously, so it was a chance to meet new people and sit on the deck of a gorgeous house and chat. We mostly work in different areas – though there were a few of us communication and marketing types – and we are all at different stages of our lives, so there were lots of different stories to share. Some things we found common ground on were: guys just don’t get chicks; good friends are often the only thing that get you through the tough times; and that true, genuine customer care is so very rare. Oh – and that Allie makes amazing macaroons. But I digress …
The customer service thing really struck a chord with us all. Most members of the group are in a position in our daily lives where we are service providers, be it to external or internal customers. Or both. And of course, everyone is the recipient of customer service – we’re all customers at one time or another. So we were all very passionate about the topic. We shared stories about amazing customer service we’d personally received in the past. There were even a couple of great experiences shared about fantastic clients. Interestingly, the client stories were sequels to earlier tales of customer service provided on our own part, at our expense – almost a karma thing.
Mostly we marvelled about why we rarely receive it. And why it seems so exceptional when we do. Why don’t we get good customer service as a matter of course? To us, it seems so easy – it’s about empathy. And not settling for anything less than you’d want for yourself. It’s about asking the right questions so you understand what you customer really wants – to ‘get where they’re coming from’. It’s about putting yourself in the shoes – getting inside the head – of your customer, taking care of their needs, and if they don’t get what they want – you make it right. It’s about honesty and transparency. It’s also about giving a little bit more than expected.
At the end of the day, giving good customer service is about being a decent human being. Treating others as you wish to be treated yourself. It’s all about the love.
What’s so hard about that?