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It is About Perception, Not Right Versus Wrong When Creating Great Customer Service
Published on Oct 1, 2012
Read 'It is About Perception, Not Right Versus Wrong When Creating Great Customer Service' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
By Adam Toren
Everyone remembers an encounter that provided excellent customer service. It’s because great customer service elicits an emotional response. It’s about exceeding expectations. Simply providing results that are expected of you is not particularly memorable. Give a customer more than they expected and go that extra mile. It doesn’t have to be complicated. A customer drops his scoop of ice cream on the floor. A vendor steps up to clean it and offers him a free scoop. Something as simple as this will have such an impact on the customer that they will literally never forget you.
The Customer Isn’t Always Right
Some people will never be pleased. They may be trying to get something for free. They may just love to complain. It can seem like you’re backing down if you give into their tiresome demands. On the other hand, you want to put a stop to all the negativity.
And Neither Are You
But your customer may have a point. Maybe you’re having a bad day and you didn’t recognize a legitimate complaint when you saw one. Don’t make the mistake of missing out on an opportunity of correcting a flaw in your service. So how can you tell who’s right and who’s wrong? You can’t, because…
Perception is Everything
The truth is that when it comes to customer service, perception overwhelms the concepts of right versus wrong. Whose perception? Yours, the specific customer’s, customers surrounding you, and the public at large. A customer shapes her idea of what constitutes great customer service by first having a preconceived notion of a business. She then perceives whether or not those expectations have been exceeded. Likewise, you have a perception of your potential customers and how you feel they should respond and behave.
Don’t Fight Useless Battles
Don’t get drawn into petty disputes over customer service issues. The real observers here are the customers surrounding you and the general public. Act to exceed customer expectations and you can’t go wrong. If you give the customer a scoop of free ice cream when his falls to the ground, your praises will be sung throughout the ice cream buying community. If react calmly but authoritatively when someone demands a free scoop, you’ll still be perceived as going above and beyond simply by remaining professional.
Instead, Fight for Your Business
As your business grows, the perception of your customer service will also change. You may have provided such fantastic service that expectations are extremely high for your company. Of course, this is where you wanted to be all along. Now you have to take extra care to ensure company standards are high from the top to the bottom. Customers are expecting a lot from you, so try to deliver at every level. If something happens out of your control, take responsibility and correct the action. Of course, you still don’t have to pander to crazy demands.
People will always recognize kind and caring behavior. In essence, great customer service is about being perceived as going above and beyond your regular duties. The trick to this perception is as simple as being happy when you make your customers happy. Compassion and a genuine interest in people’s needs translate into great customer service.