Good customer service; a company's best differentiator

20 December 2017

What is your best customer service experience?

We all have faced both good and poor customer service situations. Unfortunately, only the poor experiences are remembered. If the good ones are not really good they get forgotten. Can you not think back where and from whom you got exceptionally good customer service?

My own experience of great customer service is as casual as buying a hair dryer from a local supermarket. I had previously dealt with the sales person so I knew that he had a good knowledge of all products he was selling. But still, he succeeded in exceeding my expectations; I got a hairdryer that I wanted plus a nice service experience.

A customer contact provides a picture of the whole organization

Nowadays, when price competition is tough, companies need to find other ways to differentiate from their competitors. One of the best ways is the staff. Whether it is about buying a hair dryer or a complex software product, customer service plays a major role for the co-operation and decision-making. The impression that a customer gets of an individual contact person shapes his/her perception of the whole organization.

However, this may be forgotten in daily work. Setbacks faced during a workday or in personal matters easily have their impact on customer service situations. As human as it is, bad days should never be reflected to customer service.

Happy staff provides the best customer service

Well-being and motivation of the staff have a direct impact on customer service quality. A satisfied, committed and enthusiastic staff is definitely the best trump card for any company. By reflecting their work satisfaction outwards, they are able to provide first-class customer service. And the best customer service does not require any special tricks; it is simply customer listening, responding to their needs, and problem-solving.

When the staff feels happy, even their smile transmits through a phone conversation. Try and listen carefully to a person at the other end of the phone; can you hear a sound of smile? However, the smile can never be taken as granted. A nice workplace is a prerequisite to high job satisfaction.

Adapting to a customer's world

In customer service, I personally emphasize adapting to a customer's world. I address customers formally when they do it. I send smilies in e-mails when it is their habit, too. Every customer is different, and therefore every customer service situation must be different, too. This adds value to the customer service situation and takes the customer experience to a new level. In addition to expert-level service, a customer also gets a genuine and personal contact with the customer service representative.

However, this does not mean that customer service persons should be semiprofessional actors in order to adapt to their customers' world. It is enough to listen to a customer and to choose your communication style to match with the customer’s style as well as possible.

Therefore, let’s make sure that we do our own share in order to promote great atmosphere at the workplace. It helps building and maintaining the organization's best differentiator: the best customer service.

Kati Kujala

CSI Helsinki, Service Manager

A tireless advocate of good and personalized customer service. Gets inspired by continuous development of services.