The value of customer service

Customer service is an essential ingredient for a successful business

Cup of flat white coffee - The value of customer serviceCustomer service is something which impacts strongly on all of us, whether as business people or customers.

It is the level of customer service which dictates whether we come back to buy more or vow never to return. Let me give an example.

Recently my partner and I decided to check out a new café which is marketing itself on the quality of its food and drink. As we walked through the door we noticed that the opening hours indicated the place should have closed half an hour before.

My partner asked a waitress if they were about to close. She looked confused and said she would have to ask her colleague.

A few minutes later her colleague rushed past us without acknowledgement and began banging about with the coffee machine. After a few moments, when she had neither spoken nor looked at us, we took our leave, despite having made a special trip to get there.

Do you think we are likely to return?

Another example is when I had to take back a cappuccino which was one third coffee and two thirds froth. When I asked the barrister to change it he said that that was the way he always served it.

“Are you arguing with me?” I said with irritation.

Fortunately the manager interrupted, said of course he would make another coffee for me, and persuaded the barrister to come over and apologise.

It was a good attempt at rescuing a disastrous customer service blunder, but after that we were always felt a little uncomfortable there and eventually we stopped going.

The International Customer Service Institute polled 20,000 people who had chosen not to go back to a business. 32% had not returned for a wide variety of reasons ranging from moving from the area to preferring a competitor.

A massive 68% had decided to take their custom elsewhere because of the indifference of the employee they had dealt with. Just one negative contact can send your customers elsewhere, never to return.

A high level of customer service is essential to ensure both the long-term health and reputation of your business and your own job satisfaction.

What are your favourite examples of good and bad customer service. I’d be interested to hear from you.

Posted in: Customer Service

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