Quality (in terms of a product or service) can be defined as a high or superior level of value or excellence. In terms of customer service it can be defined as how a business looks after its customer’s requirements through effective and efficient before and after sales service.
If you search “quality customer service” online you will be amazed at how many sites come up, how many books there are on the subject, how many websites and training platforms there are available. So the question is, if we can research it, define it, learn it, why is it so hard to initiate it and maintain it? I’m afraid I don’t have the answer but I am often puzzled by this.
From time-to-time I stop and consider the concept of quality customer service, what it is to give it and how it feels to receive it and I must say that it almost feels like a dying art. If you ask someone older than me they most certainly will agree. It would appear that the art of quality customer service is lacking in our society.
I’m sure you’ve had a recent experience, at the grocery store, restaurant, or retail outlet where you left with a feeling of discontent. You may even have gotten irritated internally wondering “what is their problem?”. I experienced it yesterday at the grocery store where I, as I always seem to do, picked the wrong cashier line. She greeted me with a complacent “hi, how are you L” and I replied “I’m well thank you how are you?” to which she replied “oh I’m okay”. If you were to read her tone and body language it was screaming “I hate being here, you are bothering me, I would rather be anywhere else but here”. I was so irritated by her. She was the slowest cashier in history, okay I am exaggerating, but I was in a hurry and she was so slow and depressing that I couldn’t wait to get away from her. This is a great example of horrible customer service. I am shopping at a high-end grocery store, I expect to be treated well and at the very least greeted with a smile. This is but one example in a long list that I have and I know I am not the only one. Quality customer service is dying. Most people make you feel as if you are bothering them.
I suppose the reason why this dying art is so glaringly obvious to me is because our business thrives on quality customer service. We are constantly setting the bar higher and higher. We want our customers to feel well taken care of and we deliver just that and with a smile to boot! We understand that our customer service must be consistent, that every customer contact is a chance to shine. We recognize our clients’ needs and aim to exceed their expectations. We realize that quality customer service is the ability to deliver excellence consistently, with every interaction. I would never want a client wondering “what is her problem?” I want all our clients to feel appreciated, that their relationship matters to us, because it truly does!
So, I have to wonder, if I am capable and happy to offer quality customer service to our clients, shouldn’t someone else be willing and able to offer it to me when I am the customer? In a world filled with technology and online purchasing options I fear that we are losing the ability to recognize and deliver “quality” customer service. In my relatively short life I have seen the decline in service, which makes me fear for my children’s generation and what they will experience in terms of quality customer service and whether or not there is any real quality left in it.