Simple Things Your Team Can Implement Today

I travel a great deal and have done so for the last 30 years. In fact, I’ve accumulated more than nine million miles on airplanes and have earned elite status on several major airlines.

On a recent flight I happened to be seated in coach because no upgrade to business class was available, even though I qualified under the airlines’ executive platinum program. However, the flight attendant surprised me by offering dinner.

“Well that’s great!” I said to the flight attendant. “What are my choices?”

“Yes or No,” she quickly replied.

Sad to say, her less-than-enthusiastic response is emblematic of customer service today.

As we have moved from a local to a global economy, we’ve gone from dealing with friends and neighbors to dealing with faceless corporations with operations scattered around the world.

But customer service still matters! Don’t allow your team to win the race to the bottom by viewing customer service merely as a cost center. Make it the hallmark of your great organization’s culture.

Here are five characteristics of terrific customer service.

  1. Find out what the customer really wants.

Don’t assume that you know what the customer is thinking. Find out. Ask questions like “What would you like to see happen here?” or “What outcomes are you looking for?” Then do your best to make it a reality.

  1. Honor the customer.

Everyone wants to be treated as if what they do matters. If customers have a choice between a business that respects their needs with quality, respectful service and one that treats them carelessly, they’ll go with the first option every time. In fact, Jesus once said, “Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.”

  1. Confirm the customer.

Customers are samplers. They will often come into your business or organization and try it on for size. Don’t assume that a first-time guest, customer, or client is hooked for life. Go over the top to ensure that they have a “Wow!” experience, and confirm them as a customer.

  1. Set the pace.

There are two types of people in every workplace: those who wait for a green light and those who wait for a red light. The first group won’t do anything until they are told what to do. Those in the second group will take initiative; they’ll move in a positive direction until someone tells them to stop. Put yourself in the first group. Take the lead and set an example in serving the customer.

  1. Do it right or not at all.

Terrific customer service doesn’t just happen—it’s anticipated. Written into the business plan of successful ventures are achievable goals that become stepping stones to success. Further, one of the most important goals is to serve the customer right, the first time.

Remember, if your only concern is quantity, you will end up with neither quality nor quantity—and the customer will be the victim of your drive-by idea.

These are some of my best ideas for delivering top-notch customer service. I’d love to hear yours. Share your best story of terrific customer service on Facebook or Twitter!




Terrific! Five Star Customer Service

In a time when good customer service is hard to find, Keith Hawk and Stan Toler raise the bar with the inspiring examples of some special people with Down syndrome. The principles gleaned from these loving, caring people will change the way you approach your customers—and make your business better.