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What Does It Take to Provide Exceptional Customer Service?

What Does It Take to Provide Exceptional Customer Service?

| March 28, 2019

Many companies proclaim their commitment to "exceptional customer service," but how often have you been dissatisfied with the service you received? I was thinking about this topic while shopping for a new office phone system. Although it was somewhat of a headache to change providers, I was unhappy enough to try to find someone better. In contacting other companies, I saw and heard significant differences in how these businesses treat people. Sadly, few seemed to really provide exceptional customer service. The company I chose makes exceptional customer service a mantra, and they have backed up their pledge every step of the way.

If you are a business owner, does your company provide customers with these services?

Quick response to messages. When you call with a question or problem, you don't want to wait a long time for someone to get back to you. Even if they don't have an immediate solution for you, you want to be acknowledged. That's what I want as a consumer and what I strive to do as a business owner.

Convenient scheduling and timely performance. During the office move process, many workers and technicians were late or no shows. In my personal life, I've also had this issue. I recently called to have a service person come to my house. The company said they would give me at least an hour notice before coming. They called when they were 5 minutes away. I said I could be home in 20 minutes. They told me I had to reschedule.

Knowledgeable staff. The sales representative for one of the phone companies I contacted knew the answers to all of my questions. It was wonderful. He understood my business and my technical issues, and he talked me through different options. The existing provider gave me vague answers, then put me on a 15-minute hold until the call disconnected. I know that so much work has become specialized that it's hard to know it all, but it seems like there is room for improvement in many companies.

Good attitude. I empathize with customer service representatives and repair workers. Everyone takes out their frustrations on them regardless of whether the problem has anything to do with them. I try to be polite and respectful. The adage, “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” holds true most of the time. On the other hand, it's frustrating to deal with someone who is clearly unmotivated at work.

Unfortunately, the problem is often the company culture. Yes, there are always some bad apples. However, some companies say they put customers first, but their training, policies and procedures place the priority elsewhere.

What does exceptional customer service mean to you?