What kind of service are you offering your customers?

Over the past several weeks, I have had the opportunity to experience service, good service and great service along with – well you guessed it poor service. Time and again, whenever advising businesses, one of the things I stress is – if you want to build loyalty into your business – it first begins with great service.

Believe it or not there are a lot of companies out there that exist simply because there is demand for their products. And they grow in times of economic plenty. Some of them even become very big companies simply because there is a high demand for their products. Some of these same companies may mouth the words customer service but in reality lack the problem solving abilities needed to address problems with their businesses as they arise. And in fact many of them become too big to be able to address the customer service or service issue at all.

No service

Recently I dealt with a large organization that was also affiliated with a finance agency of the same name. The finance company financed the purchase of the company’s vehicles. I had leased a vehicle two years prior from this company and interim had moved. Upon moving we had notified the company that we had moved and had received regular correspondence with them. Last week, I went into the dealership to pay in full for the leased vehicle. After handing over a large money order to the dealership – they indicated that they could not give me a receipt, nor could they sign over the vehicle to me. They agreed to send the money order to the finance branch but indicated I would have to deal with that arm of the company. Needless to say 4 days - and over 20 phone calls later, we finally received a receipt for payment in full for the vehicle. That was after I spoke with supervisors, team leaders and finally the Branch Manager. In the end they indicated they did not have a current address and blamed us for not changing it. They would not accept that the parent company should have informed them of the address change.

Apparently company policy would not allow for them to transfer information between different arms of the company. A policy that made little sense – and also one the consumer was never informed of. Needless to say – upon completion of all dealings with the company – we felt that there was little in the way of ‘service’ to the customer.

Great Service

Yesterday I flew between three major cities on my favorite airline. In fact the cost to fly with a competing airline was $30 less – but I still chose my favorite. Why? Because of their incredible service and well trained employees. Incredible service may be part of policy, however a company must follow up and train employees to follow that policy to make it effective. This company does that.

When I switched airplanes in a major city, part of my luggage did not make the connecting flight. I have had this happen before with another airline – however the service that followed to find my luggage was very frustrating indeed. This time, with this airline however, they were more than accommodating.

They embarked on a search to find the missing luggage – a display board I needed in 6 hours time – and when they located it 45 minutes later, they shipped it directly to my destination and had it delivered to my door. In addition they credited me $30 towards my next flight. Not only did they apologize, but they gifted me as well. Now that is service.

Retaining a customer is all about offering them service that they cannot find somewhere else. Knowing your customer’s needs is paramount. Responding to their needs is essential for growing your business and retaining customers. And in business – over correction is a good thing. So if during your service you have made an error – be sure to correct it immediately – and even over correct it.

Great service involves staying in tune with your customer and how they feel about what you are offering them. Great service also involves a commitment to customer satisfaction. Everyday. Not just when you like a customer – or they treat you well. Do you have commitment to customer satisfaction? Because it is this part of your business- great customer service that will carry you through even tough economic times and keep the customers that you have – for a long time.

Add comment


Mandie Crawford is a marketing expert, business coach, trainer and motivational speaker who was recently awarded Calgary Business Woman of the Year for her contributions to the business community.

Mandie also has skills and expertise in providing high quality guidance in time management and system implementation for small a medium sized businesses. Her passion as a business and professional development coach is to helps women recognize their value and self worth.

She is the Preside...

Go Deeper | Website

Want More?

New Graphic
Subscriber Counter