Spotlight on Customer Service

By on November 10, 2009
Spotlight on Customer Service

Understanding how we define customer service starts with understanding what it is not. Right away we think of customer service as a complaint desk, but if we treat it that way, that’s what it becomes. If our service staff feels the point is to stop complainers from complaining, they will fail to identify customer trends. True customer service takes a positive view of the customer, becoming customer-focused, by getting closer to the customer. In simple terms, the basic function of customer service is to retain customers and keep them buying.

Customer Service is not…

  • Staffing a complaint desk
  • Fixing what the organization did wrong
  • Greasing the squeaky wheel
  • Convincing customers of your point of view

Customer Service is…

  • Doing ordinary things extraordinarily well
  • Going beyond what is expected
  • Adding value and integrity to every interaction
  • Being your best with every customer
  • Surprising yourself with how much you can do
  • Taking care of the customer like you would take care of your grandmother

Here’s a good rule of thumb to use with every customer: If you wouldn’t say or do something to your grandmother, then you shouldn’t say or do it to your customer. This will help you provide an exceptional service experience to everyone.

There are five key principles of providing Exceptional Customer Service:

  1. Service
  2. Listening
  3. Attitude
  4. Communication
  5. Teamwork

About Karin Fowler

Karin is the Senior Program Manager and Customer Service Business Practice Leader at St. Louis Community College, Workforce Solutions Group (WSG) Division, where she manages the Metropolitan Education Training (MET) Center. She manages and develops workshops in Customer Service, Career Development, Resume Writing, Interviewing and Leadership skills. She has been a Customer Service Business Practice Leader and Facilitator with the Workforce Solutions Group since July 1999. Karin has extensive experience in the areas of customer service development, training and delivery. In addition, she also manages on-site contracts to develop and deliver training for displaced and adult workers for coaching and career strategies. Karin consistently receives high praise on course evaluations with such comments as - “Karin’s inner personal attitude makes you want to be better,” “Helped me take a look at myself and helped me with better customer service; “Kept the audience involved” and “Karin re-integrated main points as examples during our group discussions and activities.”

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