Exceptional Customer Service

We spend considerable time talking about customer service in our instructor led classes, yet I think a reminder might be in order. Recently, during a challenging travel experience, I overheard a conversation by multiple parties about the same event as it related to customer service. The thing that really struck me was not only how we all remembered the triggering event differently (this is perception – right?!), but how some people were really impressed how the situation was handled and others were very upset about how the situation got taken care of. I was reminded that customer service is very relative to each individual. Everyone in the automotive service industry likes to talk about how they provide exceptional customer service, but how do you know? Are you doing the same thing for every person? Are you catering the experience to each individual? Is your idea of exceptional customer service making sure each customer has a ride, a cup of coffee, or an accurate estimate? Or maybe your idea of customer service is getting every customer in and out of the door as quickly as possible. The really important thing to remember is that no matter what your idea of customer service is – it doesn’t matter! It’s what the customer thinks comprises exceptional customer service that matters. This will be different for every person that walks through your door. We generalize customer types in our Exceptional Customer Handling class, yet the real truth is that everyone is different. Those fellow travelers I overheard were an example of this. I have no doubt that the customer service representative involved felt like they were doing a fantastic job, just as they had been trained and hired for, and yet some customers still felt that the experience wasn’t handled well. You can’t please everyone, every time, but you can please most, most of the time! Learn to identify what each customer needs in a service experience. If they are in a hurry, forget about all the details, just take care of the big, important stuff and get them on their way. If a customer seems insecure or apprehensive, pay attention to the details – ask them what information would help. If the customer is on the phone and you can’t read body language, you’ll have to rely on questions to identify what makes for an exceptional customer service experience. If you sense hesitation, you can always ask “is it the time or expense that concerns you most?”. Over time you will become more and more intuitive when it comes to customizing the experience for customers. In the meantime, learn the Customer Type information from Service Management Made Simple, and pay attention to body language! Connecting to each customer on what is important to them will win you customers for life!

Comments are closed.