What is Great Customer Service?

Frozen Chicago Disney Store

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?



5 thoughts on “What is Great Customer Service?

  1. Good thoughts, Susan. And for the most part, I agree with you. I also don’t always want someone following me all of the time in a store.

  2. I am generally an independent shopper. I like to do my own thing, but I like for sales people to be available and approachable when needed. I like a little chitchat at the register, but not great details or ling stories. The worst is when the sales person ringing you up is talking to someone else and barely acknowledging the customer.

    I’ve noticed lately that many stores seem to have required their people to interact with every customer they see. That’s fine when we pass each other in the aisle, to have someone say hello and ask me if I am finding everything. But i gets tiresome when it happens every time I turn a corner. And sometimes it’s awkward – sometimes I am reading a label or looking at something and hear someone behind me asking me if I am finding everything ok. It’s ok when that greeting is natural but not when it’s forced and unnatural. Sometimes, too, I’ve had salespeople greet me over a distance – I really don’t want to holler back across the store, “No thank you, I’m fine.”

  3. I feel the same as you and your commentators on customer service. I live near an Outlet Mall and I used to go to a specific store because I liked their women’s clothes. The sales clerks hovered and were so over-the-top on helping you that I no longer go into that store. When I took a garment into the dressing room to try it on, there was not a moment of peace for me. If I said I didn’t like the garment or that it didn’t fit right, I would be handed many other items to try on. Then other sales clerks would come and voice their opinions on how the item looked or fit. Then all the accessories that went well with the item would be handed to me. I would just go ahead and buy something to get out of the store!! But I found that many women love going in there because of all the personalized attention they were given.

  4. For me shopping has changed quite a bit through the years. When I was a young mother of two, I did experience some stores with the hovering work force. I very much dislike the “helicopter clerk”, but today I often can’t find anyone nearby to answer any questions that I might have. What really annoys me though is the cash register lines! So often only one or two lanes are open when the store is busy and there should be more like 5 or 6 lanes open. Even at Christmas shopping time, I found this to be true. One store that does it right in Ft. Wayne is Von Maur. Their clerks are well-trained to be helpful without “bugging” the shopper. Sometimes I just want to look and not be bothered, so I guess that makes me an independent shopper. Also, I would much rather shop alone than to go with a friend or relative. I like eating out with friends and family much more than shopping with them.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing your thoughts.