The 5 Factors of Great Customer Service

1 March 2015
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In their defining book, Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service, authors Thomas K. Connellan and Ron Zemke detailed the five criteria for providing your customers with impeccable service. Their research identified a framework which was built on five factors. Each factor is used by the customer to evaluate or grade your level of service quality.Customer ServiceWe all know that the customer is always right. You may have experienced customers that can be, for lack of a better term, difficult. But at the end of the day, their opinion and influence will either serve to promote your business or destroy it.

If you ever feel that you have done “all that you can,” you’re wrong! Every day is a new opportunity for you to smile once more, greet others by their first name and acknowledge those who play a pivotal role in the growth of your business.

Here are the five criteria or factors that lead to offering great customer service.

1. Reliability

You have to be able to provide your customer with everything you’ve promised. No hidden loopholes or selling traps. Keep it simple…this for that!

2. Responsiveness

“We want it, and we want it fast!”

The customer is always on a time crunch. The faster you get them what they want, the better you will look. Now, I know that in some businesses, services and product are not always available on demand. Heck…that’s my business! But what I do to “speed up” the process, is to keep my clients in the loop. I rarely let more than 72 hours go by in between communication.

All customers want to know is that their request is important, that you are continually working on it.

3. Assurance

You’re the expert! Never forget that you are perceived as the go-to guy or gal in your trade. You constantly have to be assuring your customers that your technicians or employees are fully equipped to handle their request. Your promoted ability conveys trust, and trust build confidence.

Don’t keep your genius a secret.

4. Empathy

As I stated before, your customers are the most important ingredient in a healthy business recipe. Treat them as such, and they will reward you with their loyalty. If you refuse to become empathetic to their individual needs, they will leave you alone to fester in your on diluted perception of self-worth.

Provide your customers with that ever-so desirable warm fuzzy!

5. Tangibles

Tangibles refer to the physical appearance of your facility, your own self and your staff. I shouldn’t have to explain to you why this is so important, but if you need a refresher, I want you to delve into your memory and grab that image of the time you went to that new restaurant in town. Shortly after being seated, you had to excuse yourself and visit the restroom. Standing at the urinal next to you, was a member of the kitchen staff. As they had entered the bathroom before you, they finished first–zipped up and headed straight out the door and back to the kitchen.

Ooops!

What kind of perception did this leave with you…will you be making a return visit soon?

Customer service is not something that should be reviewed and trained on at your monthly staff meetings. It needs to be engrained in your own mind as the most important aspect of doing business.

It’s a way of life.

If you fail to see its importance, I want you to go grab 100 one dollar bills from your safe or register. Next, go throw them in the dumpster that sits in the back alley. Tomorrow when the truck comes to empty the dumpster, I want you to stand in the alley and watch as your money is tossed away like a used tissue.

Lowering the value of your customers’ experience is the same as throwing away money. Continuing either action result in only one outcome…

It will put you out of business.

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P.S. If you are having trouble conveying the importance of customer service to your team or staff, ask them to contribute a hundred dollars from their next paycheck to the exercise I detailed above.

Losing money has a funny way of helping us better understand. ~Andy

photo credit: Lynn (Gracie’s mom) via photopin cc

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