Good Customer Service Can Be Defined Many Ways

Customers are important, your business doesn't survive without them. Many companies pride themselves on how much they care about their customers. Leaders frequently trumpet how important the customer is, repeating stories about how someone went above and beyond to solve a customer issue. Yet I'm astonished at the number of companies that hold themselves in high regard on their customer service yet are often having to go above and beyond to fix problems that they have created. If your customer is your quality control, you have an issue. It is bad if they are noticing mistakes in your marketing materials or on your Web site. It is bad if they are finding inconsistencies in your information. It is bad if they are noticing a defect in your product.

There is a difference in having a tribe that supports you and wants to see you succeed and a customer that keeps finding your errors. If you are having to constantly thank your customer for helping you find an issue you want to go out of your way to find the root cause. You need to flush out the cause of your problems and resolve them. I'm not advocating for firing the people that make mistakes, your job as a leader is to support your team so they are successful. If there are problems your team is not being successful and that is a reflection on you, the leader.

It all comes down to being reactive or proactive. A reactive organization that cares about the customer will do whatever they can to fix whatever problem the customer finds. The proactive organization that cares about the customer will find ways to fix their problems so fewer customers are negatively impacted by their mistakes. The proactive organization will work to find issues before they ever become a problem.

Whatever you do though, don't be the organization that talks down to your customers and tell people how much your customer just doesn't understand what you are doing. That is a sure sign of an organization that is on a downhill slide. Your customer is vital, they are oxygen to your organizational body, treat them as such.

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