What is Customer Service?

What is Customer Service?
Getty Images / Caiaimage/ Trevor Adeline

Customer service is the service or care that a consumer receives before, during and after a purchase. It's one of the factors that come into play when a consumer is determining buying value, the other is the quality of the product or service that is being offered. 

Consumers often must encounter an experience to not only be a satisfied customer but a loyal customer. Customer service is a part of that experience.

Top notch service will create loyalty and a returning customer, which is what we all must strive for. 

Excellent customer service is vital to businesses today. It's a component that is often missing, unfortunately. How do you provide great customer service? Always make your customer a priority. Greet them in a friendly manner, whether that be via telephone, email or in person. Let them know you are there to help and that you will take care of them, not only before the sale but after as well. After all, in a thriving business customers are not optional it's a requirement for businesses to survive. 

Customer service is one of the most important aspects of any transaction. It begins the moment customers walk in the door and continues until their last interaction, sometimes well after a sale has been completed. From a warm greeting to resolving a challenge, service plays a vital role in affecting how clients and customers view a company or brand.

A bad experience with a representative can ruin customers' perception of the company, regardless of the quality of their product. Adversely, if customers have challenges with their products and the resolution goes above and beyond the expected, those customers may walk away with a more favorable view than if they had simply bought their products without incident.

Every part of a transaction is affected by customer service. Customers take note of everything, from the way employees stand to the way they handle money. An employee who slouches, avoids eye contact and slaps change on the counter will make a lasting negative impression compared to one who stays attentive, makes an effort to be personable and friendly, and takes the time to treat customers like guests rather than the other end of a transaction. The quality of customer service can easily sway a customer to become a loyal part of repeat business or to provide a terrible review on multiple social media outlets.  
Customer service doesn't apply only to the point-of-sale employees. Companies with the most successful customer service practices ensure that executives and entry-level employees alike know the importance of treating every customer with personalized, individual attention. One of the biggest brands with the most loyal consumers not only ensures that its amusement parks stay clean but also encourages the janitorial staff to entertain guests by painting pictures in the water on the ground with their brooms.

The company specializes in entertainment and has made sure that everyone who represents it brings that spirit of fun into their interactions. Of course, not every company can use the same tricks to impress customers. No matter the industry, all employees can tailor their customer service to their clients and make a lasting impression. An auto mechanic could take his or her service to the next level by taking extra care in cleaning a customer's vehicle as well as providing a personal touch when interacting with the customer directly. A salesperson in a hardware store could share pointers learned from personal experience while assisting a customer with a purchase, and in the end, might recommend resources for further information rather than simply completing a sale.  
The purpose of good customer service isn't to sell a product or service. Service that stands out positively in customers' memories will not only create loyal, repeat business, but it can produce positive reviews and bring in new business. There isn't a singular magical trick to achieving excellent customer service, but keeping in mind a simple principle will allow any business to build a customer service approach that will succeed. Excellent customer service relies on surpassing a customer's basic expectations. Whether it's a friendly smile from a cashier, a sales associate remembering a repeat customer by name or personalized assistance in resolving a conflict, excellent customer service is essential in providing a successful customer experience that stands out from the rest.

Continue Reading...