Today is the first day of “Customer Service Appreciation Week”, and that poses the question “What is Customer Service?”
When you think about customer service, what is the first thing that comes into your head? Is it the teenager at the ‘returns’ desk at a shop in the mall, the person on the other end of the phone when you place a late night order from a catalog, shopping channel or infomercial? Or does it go instantly to a call center with a labyrinth of men and women wearing headsets? Customer service is all of those things and more.
“One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.” LEWIS CAROL
While those may be the first things you think of, in reality, every position holds some kind of customer service responsibilities. It just is a matter how you view the word ‘customer’. The readers of a blog could be considered customers. The service they expect is that there should be constantly updated, informational and entertaining content (and I hope I am providing that to you). Look at your interactions on a day to day basis and you will see how you are both giving and receiving one form of customer service or another.”
A purchasing agent who is ordering auto parts for instance they are the customer when making those calls to refill a bin of bolts, the worker who has to use those bolts in order to build a car – that is the agent’s customer. Looking further, the person ordering the finished car to sell relies on the service of the manufacturing folks and that makes the dealerships their customer. The end customer of course would be the person buying the car from a dealership. Customer service, or just service, is a very circular thing. Someone is always helping someone else.
That being said, this week is to honor the customer service people who live in the trenches. The people who take call after call (or email) answering questions, taking orders and fielding complaints. These are the men and women who you go to expecting they are able to help you with any issue. These are the people you call in yell at when something is wrong, the same people that take that problem and turn it into a solution.
“To my customer, I may not have the answer, but I’ll find it. I may not have the time, but I’ll make it. – UNKNOWN
This week when you call to order a product or ask a question, remember. Be patient, be kind and know they are going to do everything possible to help you.
What do you look for when you think of “exceptional customer service?