What is great customer service?
It’s a topic I think about more than the average person, perhaps, since I do some mystery shopping. What’s mystery shopping? That’s a topic for another day, but basically, I evaluate various businesses on how well they serve their customers. Here are a few observations I’ve made over the years.
Good Customer Service is Flexible
Good customer service doesn’t mean the same thing in all situations. For instance, say I’m visiting a store looking for a dress for a special occasion. In this case, I would welcome an employee helping me out, making suggestions, and giving their opinion on what I might choose. In other situations, I prefer to do my own thing without someone coming after me and asking if they can help me. Often, I wish I could explain this on the forms I need to fill out, because it seems that most all companies want their employees regularly approaching customers and assisting them. To me at least, this isn’t something I always want.
Good Customer Service is Friendly
Even if I don’t always want an employee breathing down my neck, I do always appreciate friendly employees. By friendly, I mean that employees are approachable — I’d feel comfortable asking them for help or information. I also like when they make a small amount of friendly chat at the register for check out. Sometimes, I’ve encountered employees that come across as unfriendly. Retail or restaurant work is probably not the best field for someone who doesn’t enjoy interacting with the general public.
Good Customer Service is Knowledgeable
Have you ever been in a restaurant and asked your waiter a question about a menu item — and he doesn’t know the answer? This has happened to me all too often. When I go to a store or a restaurant, I expect the staff to be experts on the items they work with. Good customer service means to me that the employees know more about the items they work with than I would.
These are some of my thoughts on what good customer service means. Now it’s your turn: what do you like to experience in the way of customer service? Have you ever experienced really bad customer service?