Customer Service Defined to Be Unforgettable

Leaders, how is customer service defined in your organization? In Wikipedia, you will find customer service defined as: the provision of service before, during, and after a purchase.

Customer service defined this way (as an operation) inspires few to the heights of service greatness. It does lead to structured processes, procedures, scripts, and metrics that leaders often mistake for customer service.  As a result these procedures don’t produce unforgettable customer service.

To deliver unforgettable customer service, start with this simple effective definition:

Customer service defined. Image is a scale w/ books on left, heart on right.

Customer Service Defined. Image designed by: Kimb Manson Graphics.

Image designed by: Kimb Manson Graphics for Kate Nasser. All rights reserved.

Build procedures, processes, employee training, teamwork, online and self-service portals around this definition — delivering knowledge with care.

How far-reaching is customer service defined this way?

Does it apply to …

  • All industries? For example, Finance, Retail, Healthcare, Legal, Pharmaceuticals, Utilities, Hospitality, Dining, Airlines, Education, Bridal, Home Repair … Yes.
  • Help Desks and Technical Support?  Yes.
  • Service to employees within an organization? Yes.
  • Service to external customers of an organization? Yes.
  • Business-to-business and consumer customer service? Yes.
  • Online customer service? Yes.
  • Self-service portals? Yes.
  • Does it work for business, non-profit, academia, and government? Yes.

 

Why Does It Matter How Customer Service is Defined?

A definition held in the mind affects behavior.

    If your organization thinks of customer service as a department, you won’t see the cross teamwork needed to deliver great customer service.
    If your organization thinks of customer service as an operation, you won’t create strong customer relationships through empathy and care. Even if you develop them through the sales reps, you will see those relationships decline when service doesn’t include care.
    Many in the customer service profession define customer service is an attitude of caring. Yet those in the operational aspect often find that definition lacking. They say: “Where is the delivery?” You must deliver something!

This brings us to customer service defined as:

Knowledge delivered with care to make life easy for the customer!


You can modify this customer service definition to reflect your business. For example,

    Knowledge and solutions delivered with care to make life easy for the customer.

    Knowledge and solutions delivered with care to make it easy for the customer to be productive.

    Knowledge and solutions delivered with care to make it easy for the customer to be profitable.

The key components to include are delivery (of something) and the aspects of care and ease. They build mutual bonds of success for your organization and your customers!

Question: In your organization, is customer service defined to take you far and high?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Customer Service Post:
Super Customer Service Experience: Picture It, Lead It, Create It!

©2009-2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

9 Responses to “Customer Service Defined to Be Unforgettable”

  1. Having been in customer service & support for over 35 years I have never accepted the saying, “The customer is always right.” I could probably count on 1 hand (and not get past the pointer) how many times that has been true. Quite the contrary, the customer only knows what his problem is and is coming to me to solve it. I have been looking for a way to concisely define what I do for a long time. Thank you for “solving my problem.” You have defined what I do wonderfully.
    GregMc

  2. Wayne says:

    Kate: very good stuff – you have an excellent grasp of what “customer service” really is. Are you familiar with T. Scott Gross? I think he’s a very powerful instructor of customer service ideas and has been a great help to me. I’ve subscribed to your newsletter….I think I can learn a lot from your ideas. Glad to have found you! Wayne

  3. Schuyler says:

    Thank you for this precise but simple definition for a common idea that is so broad. How does this apply when working in department that provides service internally to other departments or employees?

    Do you have any input on how I can pursue opportunities to get start on call center careers in health care industry or home repair services?

  4. Joe Williams says:

    I liked how the definition passes the test of being far-reaching. Simple in scope, yet powerful in reach.

  5. Rob Greuling says:

    Unforgettable customer service can be either a good or a bad memory. There will always be those customers that can’t seem to be satisfied. If they’re beneficial to business, we shouldn’t give up too soon. In some cases we’ve possibly just not found the right combination to satisfy them. Raving fans are created first by ensuring that the “T’s” are crossed and the “Is” are dotted at every opportunity provided to interact with customer(s). It’s the basic blocking and tackling of customer service that everyone on the team should be proficient at. It’s consistent follow-up while communicating to educate customers throughout events of what to expect, when to expect it, by whom, and then what you’ve done to take care of them. Then go above and beyond – Do something extraordinary that’s not expected. Often, it may not cost more than just a little time and attention.

    You can’t forget the financial side of the business, but when dealing with an escalated customer situation, far more can be lost in the long run that the apparent current costs associated with the situation. It can be a difficult decision. Customers don’t want to change providers as it costs them time and money. Part of our job has to be to help them recognize and buy into the value proposition we’ve created. Make it easy for them to say “yes”, and to stay with you at every opportunity.

    To have a viable company you need at least 1 thing – customers. Money to fund a company can come from many sources, but every customer has to be won, valued, and kept.
    Rob Grueling
    Zone Director, Masterplan

  6. Alli Polin says:

    Kate – Love the reframing of customer CARE. I led an associate care team (customer service focus for all of the people working onsite with our customers.) Before I arrived, it was very black & white – we can do this, we can’t do that. We moved forward as a team of people connecting with other people on their issues that mattered to them… and we cared, not only about our call time, but about the person on the other end of the phone line. That small shift mattered a lot. Thanks for all that you do to tirelessly move this message forward!

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thank you Alli for adding your experience to this post. I am always grateful to my blog readers when they bring a personal/professional story to the discussion. It makes everything come alive.

      Grateful that I am connected to you. Your BreaktheFrame blog is contributing much to the world of global business, service, and excellence.

      Best and warmest wishes,
      Kate

  7. Jon Mertz says:

    Kate,

    I like how the definition is empowering and enabling,and it is really for both sides of the equation – team member and customer. It is in this way, we really create win-win relationships.

    Thanks!

    Jon

KateNasser on Facebook KateNasser on Google+ KateNasser on Twitter KateNasser on LinkedIn KateNasser on Pinterest