Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
June 7th, 2017

How to Go from Good to Great Customer Service

I was recently reading an article about the service a customer received from two different Tesla service centers. The true story revolved around an individual’s dramatically different experiences visiting the two centers, which are only eight miles apart. After reading this, I thought that there were three lessons found in the story that could relate to any business and help them take their customer service from good to great.

  1. Friendliness is not enough – In this story, both service centers were friendly to the customer, but only one tried to resolve the customer’s issues. Most of us understand the basics of being pleasant to a customer, but are we going beyond surface friendliness and really trying to help them resolve their issues? Just because you were nice does not mean that you have done anything to help resolve the client’s needs. Are you being friendly because that’s how you’re supposed to act, or are you genuinely trying to help?
  2. Empathize with the customer – It seemed as though one service center in the story was following company protocol, and the other was empathizing with the client’s situation and looking for options. Similar to the first lesson, it is obvious that we need to listen to the customer and understand their needs. However, are you putting yourself in that person’s shoes and asking yourself how you would want the situation to be resolved? You may know several available options to assist the client—are you pursuing them all to find out which would be most desirable from their perspective, or just quoting the company line because it’s easier? Have you pursued all remedies the same way as if it were your best friend needing the help?
  3. Know your products or services – Not only did the one service center fail in the areas above, it even misrepresented the way the products should be serviced to the client. It should go without saying that you should be intimately familiar with the products or services you offer. This includes the warranty information and what the client’s options would be to exercise that warranty. The customer should not need to point out areas in which they are protected by the warranty. You should be prepared to educate them on all the avenues available to them for the given situation. Have you educated yourself on the products and services you offer to understand them fully, including warranty-related information?

You can check out the Edmunds article I used as inspiration for this piece by clicking here.

There is a difference between adequate or “good” customer service, and delivering an experience that has someone telling all of their friends about how “great” your company is. I hope this article serves as a basic reminder on a handful of things we likely already know. There is no magic formula. The truly great companies have just learned how to deliver these basic fundamentals consistently.

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