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What Makes Great Customer Service

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There are many definitions for customer service, but what we all agree on is it the way that we treat a prospect when they come in contact with our business, whether that business be retail or service oriented.

There has never been a time to provide the best customer service than in today's world. Consumers today buy more on the service that they receive rather than price. Don't get me wrong price is important, but many consumers will pay a higher price just to receive great customer service.

Let's look at the reasons that people buy and let's start with you. Think of the last investment you made when purchasing something. The purchase must be fresh in your mind, perhaps it was a car, a new outfit or a piece of jewelry.

Think about the process that went into purchasing that item. Did you do research? Did you hunt around? What service did you encounter and was the service more important to you than the price?

For most consumers, they will say yes. They'd rather pay more and receive exponential customer service than receive poor service and pay a cheaper price.

Now, obviously the best of both worlds is great service and best price, but if you can only supply one or the other always side on that of providing the greatest customer service. You will never go wrong by providing that service. Even if a consumer chooses not to purchase from you they will always remember the service you offer and will perhaps return in the future or better yet they will tell someone else about the care you gave them.

My Great Customer Service Experience

Let me share with you a personal story and this is a story I share often because it's memorable and turned me into a loyal customer. It was the summer of 2008, I had just finished working out at the gym and running my Sunday errands. I arrived home to find out that the door from my garage to my home was locked. I have an automatic garage door, so I never lock this door and because of that I didn't have a key with me. To make matters worse my phone was also locked in the house.

I hopped back into my car and tried to think of where I could go to use a telephone book, the only place that came to mind was a wine bar that is a few blocks from my home. Keep in mind I was in workout attire, shorts and a tank top - totally inappropriate for this establishment, but I thought I'd give it a shot anyway. I walked in and the two owners were standing by the bar working on some business items. They both looked up and greeted me with a smile. I told them what had happened and asked if I could use their telephone and phone book to call a locksmith. They did even better than handing me the yellow pages, one of the owners hands me her laptop and their phone. As I started to browse and dial the owner poured me a glass of wine. I finally reached a locksmith and they said it would be 45 minutes. I sat and sipped the wine and visited with the owners. The time for me to leave quickly approached. I asked for the bill. The owner looked at me and said "No! No! You will pay enough for the locksmith today."

Great Customer Service Has Residual Benefits

Now, I tell you that story to show you the impact of great customer service. Great customer service will create not only a satisfied customer, but a loyal customer. I vowed that day to never go to another wine bar within 15 minutes of my home and to take as many people there as I could. I cannot tell you how many new customers I have brought in with me, but I can tell you that I know several of them have made this their wine bar as well.

Great customer service is always going over and beyond. It's leaving a lasting impression by delivering premium service to everyone that comes into contact with your business. Every point of contact matters from the greeter, to the person that answers the phone to someone that works in the warehouse.

Also, don't mistakenly think that customer service ends after the purchase has been made. You must keep providing fantastic service to your customer in order to keep their commitment and loyalty with you. Service after the purchase makes the determination of whether they will purchase from you again or recommend you to their friends and family.

How are you doing when it comes to customer service? Will you leave a lasting impression and create a loyal customer or will you push them into the arms of your competitor?

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