Saturday, January 26, 2008

Customer Service and Silver Bullets

What has happened to customer service? A few weeks ago, I was purchasing gasoline at my favorite stations. It's my favorite because the place is clean and the owner is friendly. On this day a younger fella was filling in for the owner. You may have a hard time believing what I saw next. As he rang up three customers plus me, he talked on his cell phone the entire time. No hello. No thank you. Nothing!

What is so hard about delivering great customer service? It’s about being aware and making a decision. Some think there’s a magic pill or a silver bullet for delivering great customer service. That’s just not the case. Exceptional Customer Service authors Lisa Ford, David McNair and Bill Perry, offer common sense tips on delivering exceptional customer service. The book describes the importance of planning, training and commitment when it comes to delivering first rate service. This book is also loaded with customer service skill-building exercises.

One great passage in the book, exemplifies the power commitment and a smile. The story is about one gentleman's passion for personal service. He gave a rose to every female customer, he had great telephone skills and he was enthusiastic about servicing customers. When asked about the success of the gentleman (later became part owner of his company), co-author Bill Perry says, "There is no silver bullet for service. People keep looking for it. Is it the roses, the enthusiasm, the personality-based recruiting, or the countless other 'and then somes'? Maybe yes, maybe no, maybe partly. But it is the culmination of many little things --all of which are delivered with a smile."

We all should strive to stand above the crowd by delivering "knock your socks off" type service.

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