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Restaurant Investigations & Solutions

A customer service definition from the Customer`s point of view

Posted on Wed 20 Jul 2011     No of views: 2754      No of Comments: 0            

“There are two perfectly good men, one dead, and the other unborn.”

Many attempts have been made to define customer service. But as we see it, most definitions take the organization as the central focus point. But first and foremost, customer service should be about customers!

So here`s the definition, from the customer`s point of view.

We often see customer service definitions that look something like this:

"Customer Service is a function of how well an organization meets the needs of its customers."

Well, this definition is OK, if you substitute MEETS with EXCEEDS, because just meeting the needs of your customers doesn`t hack it anymore these days.

You`ll have to do better than that!

Also, there is no quality statement in this definition. It essentially allows the quality of service to vary from customer to customer.

Let`s take this into account for our...

Customer Service definition, take #2!

"Customer Service is a function of how well an organization is able to constantly and consistently exceed the needs of the customer."

This customer service definition a whole lot better. Let us see if we can sum it up for you why this is:

  • "is able to" - it`s an ability, a skill
  • "constantly and consistently" - they`re doing it all the time and have proven this ability
  • "exceeds the needs" - more customer delight than customer satisfaction
  • "the customer" - makes the customer an individual, rather than a group, with his special set of needs and wants

But can you see how these customer service definitions puts the organization first, and the customer second? This seems logical, of course, since its the organization doing all the work in the customer service, not the customer.

Or is it?

Is the customer service department doing all the work??

The answer to this is NO. Never think that for a moment, or you are cutting your customers short. Remember that your customer:

  • took the time to search and find you!
  • has shown an interest in your product, information or website
  • spent time reading and investigating the information on your website
  • may have tried everything in his power to answer question himself
  • attempted to contact you, either picked up the phone or typed a message
  • may have paid you $$$ already!

Wow! If you look at this, this customer must really be motivated! The alternative was to just hit the BACK button, and say "Bye, bye". But this customer actually took the time to give you an opportunity to shine. Don`t turn your back on this customer now, or he`ll turn his back on you!

It is time to take a more "customer central" approach to this.

CUSTOMER service definition

"A customer defines good customer service as how he perceives that an organization has delighted him, by exceeding to meet his needs".

So what happened to "ability" and "constantly and consistently", which was in the previous customer service definition? Well, the customer does not care all that much if you give others good service, as long as you`ll give him good service all the time (but how you treat others is naturally a good predictor for customers as to how you`ll treat them). So you have to have the ability to constantly and consistently OVER deliver to make sure that the individual customer is delighted. And as you can see, in the end there is no truth, only perception.

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Restaurant Investigations & Solutions