Good customer service is not about doing whatever it takes to make the customer happy. That is something that marketers use to share unrealistic stories about how a company helped one customer in an extraordinary circumstance. It is not realistic to expect your company or employees to do whatever it takes to make the customer happy.
Good customer service is being honest with the customer and doing your best to deliver on the promise made during the sale. What I mean by being honest with the customer is that you will give them as direct an answer as you can. If there was a mistake on your or the companies part then you need to own it. Once owned then you need to find some path of resolution that makes the customer happy.
Good customer service is about clear communication. If it feels like there is any miscommunication occurring you need to stop everything else and get that cleared up. A small misunderstanding can grow into massive problems if it is something central to what the customer thought they were paying for. Clearing up any miscommunication can resolve an issue on the spot, or at least help the customer change their perception enough that the problem can be resolved eventually.
Good customer service is about finding a way to resolve a situation in a reasonable manner. Most customers are reasonable people. If you are clear in your communication and honest about wanting to help, then a solution can be found. For the unreasonable ones, they were going to be unhappy no matter what. Your job in those cases is to get them to understand how they are being unreasonable, good luck!
Good customer service comes from enabling your employees to make decisions, and then standing by the employee and their decision. If your employees have no latitude for helping a customer then they are going to deal with a lot of upset customers. Eventually they are going to get tired of dealing with upset customers, and move on to another company. Like everything else at your company it all starts at the top. Are you giving good customer service to your employees?
Good customer service requires good listening skills. Again this applies to the whole organization and not just the person talking directly with the customer. If there is a problem with your service your customers are the first ones to notice and let you know. Have you enabled your employees to be able to quickly, easily, and reliably pass this information to the correct people internally?
Good customer service is about saying no when no is the answer. We are taught that ‘the customer is always right’ but this isn’t right. If the customer wants you to bake 100 loafs of bread in a day, and you can only bake 20; then you have to tell them no to the 100 and give them the option of 20. This will work out better for everyone even if they take their business somewhere else.
Good customer service is absolutely critical now more than ever. Customers are one click away from your competition. It costs very little to change services, and the great companies are paying attention on how to make it even easier. You should be doing everything you can to ensure your organization is focused on giving good customer service.
Good customer service is the best thing and your customers will love you for it.