A major challenge in America today is the quality and consistency of customer service.

Customer service is a culture.  It is an experience.  It is a brand.  It is a market advantage.  It provides a host of benefits in terms of relationships, return business, positive referrals, revenue and profitability, reputation, recruitment and retention of employees, productivity, efficiency, and fewer complaints and problems (Guzzo, 2020).  It can help avoid legal or regulatory issues, bad press, and save time, effort, money, and energy.

Service is your product.  It is what the customer is truly buying.  The quality of your goods will not overcome bad customer service.  Whether it is a meal or a car, they can get that same product anywhere.

It is anticipating and meeting their needs.  It is solving a problem before it becomes a problem.  It is being polite, professional, friendly, and engaging. It is being culturally competent.  It is understanding your customers and how they think, talk, act, react, and what will make the interaction as easy, efficient, and enjoyable for them.  It requires viewing your organization through their eyes (Abrashoff, 2002).

It is listening and being engaged with their concern or need (Johnston, 2020).  It is communicating correctly and employing the right language.  It is staying cool and calm.  It is admitting a mistake, accepting responsibility, apologizing, and remedying the situation so it does not repeat.  If there is a problem, it’s being on their side (Johnston, 2020).

It requires a culture of continuous improvement.  How can we enhance the customer experience every day?  What about our production process, policies, procedures, personnel, culture, leadership, facilities, technology, etc. could be more customer-centered (Deming, 1982)?

Exemplary customer service can be found and provided in public, private, and non-profit sector organizations.  You must recruit, hire, train, evaluate, reward and recognize, and promote for customer service.

It is always the direct result of the right leadership.  When leaders make customer service the priority, you can see, hear, and feel it the moment you enter the organization until the time you leave (Blanchard, 2011).  From whom they hire to how the operation is organized; everything is about the customer.

Think relationally, reputationally, and long term. Treat others as you would like to be treated. People have good memories and professionalism and relationships matter. Customer service is everything.