Monday, December 13, 2004

Curious about Customer Service?

Every article, book, seminar or presentation about succeeding in business stresses the importance of “Outstanding Customer Service.” So, I ask you, where is the “Outstanding Customer Service?” Where is “Customer Service” at all?

This thought was brought to my attention today when I finished teaching two fitness classes that were attended by only a handful of students. Usually, my classes are filled with bodies moving, breathing and yelling, but not today. It could have been that we were experiencing our first large snow of the season, or that people were holiday shopping.

Anyway, the few students there thanked me profusely for doing the classes. I told them it didn’t matter how many or few attended - I was there to teach. This is when I learned that it is not so with other instructors. They have to have “at least five” in a class for them to proceed.

I was shocked by this lack of “Customer Service.”

But, then I started to think about all of the poor “Customer Service” that bombards us daily.

  • The clerks who are busy on the telephone - obviously on a personal call - when we want to ask a question or purchase an item.
  • The waiter or waitress that acts like you are wasting their time, and then lets you know by slamming down your order on the table.
  • The telephone operators who put you on “hold” before you utter a word.

Those are some the obvious examples. How about the “Outstanding Customer Service?” It happens, too, and when it does, we become raving advocates. I have a UPS woman who is wonderful - she never waits for me to run down the stairs - she’s halfway up in a flash. There are clerks at the grocery store who are so gracious, I will stand in a longer line to experience their service.

How about you? Whether you work for a company or for yourself, do you give “Outstanding Customer Service” and develop raving advocates? Do send me your feedback. I would love to hear about the good, the bad and the ugly “Customer Service” you have encountered.