Who is the Customer?

It would seem that I’ve been talking quite a bit about customer service lately. There are many reasons for that, mostly because it’s the one thing that has been really bothering me more than others and the one thing that I haven’t had any control over. Writing helps me with that.

Regular readers will recognize that quote from the 34th Sunday Post. I also go on record saying that I’m pretty good at customer service.

One thing that I am exceptionally good at is customer service. What? You don’t believe me? Just ask and I will tell you that I am. Really. It’s a skill that I developed by working in restaurant kitchens if you can believe it. I have worked for some truly brilliant general managers when it came to service, and almost everything I know or do can be traced back to them and this simple sentence.

Remember, your ‘customer’ is not always the person that is giving you money. If that doesn’t make sense, you can substitute the word customer for client, end user, boss, fellow employee or even friend.

The key to providing good customer service is to provide your customers with good service. Good service means that you need to provide your deliverables to your customer in a manner that is expected, in the time frame expected and with a level of professionalism that is expected. This is all pretty straightforward to most of us.

Good customer service does not include blame or excuses. Blame and excuses aren’t even good to use as a crutch as to why you failed to provide good service. When good service fails, do like the adults do. Accept responsibility for your failure and correct it. Don’t argue. Don’t excuse. Fix it. Deliver. Boom.

After you have delivered, that is when you go back and provide excuses if you really must. The right thing to do is to find out where the problem happened and correct workflows or re-train to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Part of that re-training should include the mention of correct procedures should the problem happen again.

Fix it. Deliver it.

Right? Right.

By Don

Lead bottle washer at donburnside.com, host at whiteroofradio.com and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.

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