By Meg Sherman, CTS | Vice President
I’m a big fan of good customer service. And, I’m not really picky about where it’s coming from. I can quickly decide whether or not a company will get a lifetime of business or referrals from me if they provide good—or great—customer service. Case in point: there are two places near my house where I can get bagels. Both have a good selection, make them fresh, and offer tasty coffee to go along with it. I choose one over the other because of—you guessed it—good customer service. Simply by being consistently helpful and friendly, one bagel shop triumphs and gets my business as long as its there. OK, it’s the Brueggers on Erie and Thompson…I’m a frequent flier there. Now, keep in mind, they are not handing out free dozens to me, nor are they rolling out the red carpet. But, I’m a familiar enough face there that I am always greeted with a smile & never handed a buzzer while yelling “next”… The food is always good & it’s really a simple recipe to ensure repeat business. Easy. Right? You’d be amazed at the people out there that really can miss the boat…
I think what sticks out more—and can be exponentially damaging—is poor customer service. I boycott places that provide poor customer service. There is a big box home improvement store: let’s say it rhymes with “shmome schmeepo” that I avoid like the plague. A horrifically bad experience about 5 years ago led me to this boycott. And, I’m happy to share my bad experience so that no one else has to endure the wrath of poor customer service that I went through. I’m also happy to share poor customer service experiences at a few local car dealerships, hair salons, and restaurants. I have a list…it’s in my brain, but poor experiences stay with me.
I could truly write a 5 page rant, but will spare you. In a competitive business world, why on earth would you not provide customer service that is exceptional and memorable—each and every time? Friendly people to answer your phones, associates that use terms like “absolutely” and “we can make that happen”, and the promise to always go above and beyond. One of our team members uses the term “it’s my pleasure”. I smirk when I hear it, because I just love it. I think the people on the other end of the phone are smirking too. Smart people in today’s competitive business climate should employ only those who are truly devoted to providing great customer service. They are helping retain and grow your customer base each time they say “it’s my pleasure”.
Connect with Meg Sherman on LinkedIn.