The Importance of Great Customer Service

The Importance of Great Customer Service

The service sector represents more than three-quarters of UK output in the UK, according to a statement put out this month by the CBI.

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Director for economics, said: “After a weaker start to the year, the UK services sector is now seeing healthy growth across the board with firms becoming more profitable, driven by a surge in business volumes.”

So business is picking up and the service sector is leading the economy. You would expect to find service levels at an all time high yet in general it’s rare to receive great service unless you are paying lots of money or you happen to be royalty. The conversations with friends and family invariably revolve around poor customer service. Hardly a week goes by without someone having a new story to tell. The VW revelations this week shows yet another customer service failure on a gigantic scale. People thinking that they can cheat and get away with something with scant regard for the customer.

A refreshing change

When I receive great service from a company it helps make my day a little bit brighter, brings a sense of well being and makes me smile and reflect on how nice the world is.

It is usually not the company but an individual who delivers the service and make the difference. Someone who has the patience to listen and respond, or asks the right question, has the right level of expertise to validate needs and above all is positive towards me. Or anticipates and provides advice or assistance without even being asked to do something. This then reflects well on the company and we feel good towards that business and their services. As an individual we like to deal with an individual. It’s that “one to one” element that sets apart all other interactions be it via a web site or an email, personal service, speaking directly to someone is the differentiator.

Personal interaction with clients is satisfying for the people delivering a service too. A “one to one” conversation makes the day go better for everyone. Much of what we do when putting technology in place is consultative. Our approach is to identify real needs and determine expectations and that calls for mature people with strong inter-personal skills. Fortunately in Soutron our skill set and ethos is founded on the values inherent in the library professionals within our team.

“The internet and online communication is the window into your world – but real life, in person communication / connection is the door.”
Rasheed Ogunlaru

My thoughts about serving customers in the world of technology is best summed up by this quote (unaccredited):

“We may not have the answer, but we’ll find it. We may not have the time, but we’ll make it. We may not be the biggest, but we’ll be the most committed to your success.“

What examples of customer service have stood out for you recently? When did you get a great customer service moment that left you feeling you valued as their client?

Rasheed Ogunlaru is a life coach, speaker, author of Soul Trader – Putting the Heart Back into Your Business, The Gift of Inner Success, A Zest for Business and business coach partner of the British Library’s Business & Intellectual Property Centre

Graham Beastall – Senior Consultant and Managing Director. Graham’s background is in Accountancy, Public Administration and Organisational Theory with a deep technical understanding of databases and web technologies. More posts by Graham.
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