What Is Great Customer Service | Man Stands Out

What Is Great Customer Service?

We wanted to try something a little different with this installment of the “What-Is” series and create a blog post completely written by our community. If you read blogs with any regularity, you know that often the real action happens in the comments, not in the post itself.

In this post, there is no doubt: it is all about the comments.

What is Great Customer Service?

What Is Great Customer Service | Man Stands OutThat is the question that we ask you to answer in the comment section below. Eventually, we will collect some of the thoughts below and distill the best ideas from the comments into something a little more bite-sized. Of course, you can write about stupendous customer service, amazing customer service, or whatever superlative you feel most comfortable with. We had to pick just one, and great customer service seemed the most appropriate.

So, if you’ve never written a blog post before, please feel free to share your thoughts below. You’ll have helped to write at least one!

Thank you all for your participation, and we look forward to reading the comments!

PS. The first 2 comments were copied from a previous post to this one due to the Launch Sweepstakes we are running in March 2012.

About 

By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.

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20 replies
  1. Brian L
    Brian L says:

    Great customer service is someone who is knowledgeable about the place they work and whole has a good attitude no matter how bad the customer’s attitude may be.

    Reply
  2. Monica Young
    Monica Young says:

    Great customer service to me means using all your resources and putting your customers needs first. Making that customer feel welcomed and appreciated and keep them coming back. For instance my Father and I regularity visit a restaurant once a week for dinner with my three children. There hostess there is very helpful and nice. She knows that we always order tea with lemon and lots of sugar and that my youngest daughter always asks for goldfish crackers. She will seat us at our table and excuse herself momentarily and then come back with our tea, and my daughters goldfish before taking our order. She doesn’t have to do this for us yet she does. She also seems to be quite fond of my youngest daughter even offering her stickers. To me this is an example of great customer service where an employee goes out of her way and takes extraordinary measures.

    Reply
  3. Daniel Rose
    Daniel Rose says:

    Let’s turn this on its head!
    Customer service is a compartmentalized, outdated and narrow model. It focus on orientation toward one specific aspect, ignoring quality, efficiency, capability and employee satisfaction. What’s really needed is a holistic approach to service as a whole, not subsets or compartments.

    Reply
  4. Bill Dorman
    Bill Dorman says:

    I can’t describe it, but you know it when you see it………:).

    First and foremost it’s paying attention to detail and taking care of the little things. Sometimes businesses go for the ‘wow’ effect but they are sloppy in their delivery or it’s not sincere and it detracts from the experience.

    Most service is average at best, it’s not hard to rise above it by just doing the little things right.

    Reply
  5. Ken Mueller
    Ken Mueller says:

    I honestly think that customer service is the most important thing in any business, and as a social media professional, I see social media playing more of a customer service role, than a marketing role. But then good customer service is probably the best form of marketing anyway.

    Reply
  6. Ricardo Bueno
    Ricardo Bueno says:

    “Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them.” – W. Edwards Deming

    This is where sales and I clash… To turn a profit, sales is a priority (to them). But as I see it, customer service comes first (above all else). You deliver great customer service by making people feel confident and good about their decision to purchase your product to begin with whenever they have any type of interaction with your company.

    – Something isn’t working? Let me look into it and fix that for you.
    – You have a question? Hit me with it, I’m happy to help.
    – “Just following up to say hi and see how things are going, it’s been a week since you purchased our product. What do you think so far? Do you have any questions?”
    – “Hi John, it’s Ricardo. Just calling to say hi and see if we can schedule a one-on-one at no additional cost to you. Your account is up for renewal in 6 months and I just want to make sure you’re using things to it’s full potential.”

    Customer service isn’t reactive. It should be pro-active. What can I do to deliver an experience unlike any other, so that you use our product to it’s full potential and so that you’re confident that you’ve made the right purchasing decision.

    Do that, exceedingly well day-in and day-out, and customers will bring their friends.

    Reply
  7. Didi M
    Didi M says:

    So many businesses say “it’s good enough” no it isn’t because good enough ISN’T good enough. Excellence is what differentiates a quality business from the ordinary business. Treating each customer as an individual and who has the sales persons undivided attention. Taking an extra step beyond the expected. Really listening to the customer and understanding what might be behind the stated question for a product or service. Never reacting negatively to any situation but rather taking it in stride. An angry customer has a reason for feeling as they do and its the sales persons job to find out why and turn it around. I have a gardening center that I go to and this exactly how they treat me. I’ll bet that I drive past 3 or 4 gardening centers to get to this one and yes even with the price of gas. It’s all because of their standard of customer service and it’s consistent.

    Reply
  8. Adam Toporek
    Adam Toporek says:

    Since this post is all about the commenters, I’m not responding to individual comments. However, I just wanted to say thanks for all of the great comments we have so far!

    Reply
  9. Heather Sowalla
    Heather Sowalla says:

    What is great customer service? What comes to mind is that people who will sit and actually talk things through with the customer. Many I have experienced pawn people off to other departments, etc. It is nice to get the knowledgeable person who is willing to help and go to great lengths to do so. I have found this blog interesting and helpful, even though I just came across it recently! Awesome!

    Reply
  10. Christina Bandy
    Christina Bandy says:

    To me, Great Customer Service is speaking to someone that will actually listen to you. I don’t know what it is lately, but it seems as though everyone tries to “pass the buck” or they just don’t like their jobs. I have worked Customer Service before and I have always gone above and beyond for Customers. If it wasn’t for Customers, my job wouldn’t have been there & that is what a lot of Customer Service Reps need to understand.
    People need to show sincerity & understanding. Especially with this economy, there are so many more upset Customers. I’ve had Customers go off on me just because they are having a bad day, but toward the end of the conversation, they were laughing & apologizing to me.
    One thing, one ABSOLUTE THING that all Customer Service reps need to know is to never say “I DONT KNOW”. That is just ridiculous! Good Customer Service never answers with I DONT KNOW, and leaves it at that. I’ve had several tell me that before & I get frustrated & tell them to put someone on the phone that does know, or ask for a supervisor. If they don’t know, they need to say “Let me look into that for you.”

    Reply
  11. Evelyn Mullins-Nwosu
    Evelyn Mullins-Nwosu says:

    Essentially great customer service deals with the company’s front line representative (the customer service agent), who has had the competency training to take ownership of a client’s problem/complaint/concern or even compliment! This is what I need to hear when I contact, CSx: ” Who are you? What do you need? How can I help? If I can’t assist you and or resolve the issue please allow me to obtain additional information, create a time-line so that you are clear as to what to expect.”

    Reply
  12. Bill Quiseng
    Bill Quiseng says:

    To be recognized for great customer service, the service provider should be committed to delivering an experience that at the end of the interaction the customer says to himself, “Wow, that was the best thing that has happened to me today.”

    But good customer service shouldn’t be the goal. Nor is it customer satisfaction. Today it’s all about customer loyalty. It’s about wrapping your arms around your customers and never letting them go. The very best service providers “Think RELATIONSHIPS or Go Broke.” They do something unexpected and giving after the sale to express appreciation, ideally creating an emotional connection with their customers.

    Great customer service is business common sense. The goal is to make it common practice.

    Reply
  13. Paula Reid
    Paula Reid says:

    Good customer service means that you don’t subject your customers to your personal life or personal problems. It also includes being in the moment with each transaction, not rushing on to the next without giving your current customer your undivided attention.

    Reply
  14. Kaarina Dillabough
    Kaarina Dillabough says:

    Great customer service is listening effectively to what the customer wants/needs, solving their problem to the customer’s satisfaction, thereby either increasing the customer’s pleasure/satisfaction or decreasing their pain. The only reason to be in business is to make a sale, but the sale comes from serving…serving the customer so that they are better off for having had the experience with the company than before. Great customer service is serving others as you wish to be served. Cheers! Kaarina

    Reply
  15. Ashlee
    Ashlee says:

    Taking care of others as you would a family member or friend i.e. doing what is best by them whether it benefits you or not. Also listening to your current and past clients and improving your service to satisfy their recommendations.

    Reply
  16. Ken Jacobs
    Ken Jacobs says:

    I haven’t read all the comments, so forgive me if I repeat something mentioned above.

    I think a critical part of customer and client service, one that we too often forget, is the importance of surprising and delighting your customers/clients.

    LEGO did this twice recently, reaped enormous coverage online and off, and I believe this gave a well-deserved boost to its marketing efforts.

    Reply
  17. Jeff Toister
    Jeff Toister says:

    Great customer service is service that exceeds our customer’s expectations.

    The challenge, of course, is that every customer has different expectations. (Which might explain why you get so many different, but correct, answers to your question.)

    Reply
  18. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Hi Adam, a little late in the game here (by about a year). Yowzer. So, how did 2012 go for the blog?

    What is great customer service? I work in the consulting world as you know so the way I see it from that perspective is great CS is being proactive. We get hired to do a job that ha a lifecycle and most consultancies will do what they are hired to do as we do but the approach that builds great relationships is the ability to inform and anticipating issues your client can’t. I have done this on an account I manage through a value-add service that our client benefits from monthly. Simply using your experience to keep an eye out for issues that may affect the outcome of their expectations builds trust and a lasting relationship.

    Thanks for offering the opportunity to think this through. Cheers.

    Reply

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