customer service

14) What Kind of “Customer Service” Does Your Staff Deliver?

customer-service2All across the world, teams are chasing after better customer service. Sometimes it boils down to 3 factors: a) Listen: Do our team members listen carefully to the needs and desires of our constituencies (our “customers”), b) Take responsibility for our actions: Practice with me — if it’s our fault, please stop saying, “It’s not our fault.” That never helps. c) Serve: Do we then give our utmost to meet these constituents’ needs (within the scope of our mission, vision, and values), and d) Take initiative: In all things, show a willingness to get involved, to take action, and to deliver in a timely fashion.

Here’s an example: In launching a new campaign, we had to set up a toll-free response line. We chose as our vendor and had set up the toll-free number in a matter of 5 minutes. But, alas, before we realized there was no capability to customize the greeting by sending an MP3 recording up to, we hired a voiceover specialist at to record a custom greeting, then combined the great recording with some nice music. Only then did we learn that there’s no “upload” prompt at When I called their customer support team, however, the tech responded cheerfully and competently, “No problem. I’ll just find a way to upload that for you manually, on the back side of things, using programming code.” I was floored. He didn’t want any extra cash. He didn’t complain. He just said, “We’ll make it happen.” Now, never mind that it took him 3 business days… The point is, he promised and (eventually), he delivered. (Notice, we added the adjective “and deliver in a timely fashion.”)

So what are your pet peeves when it comes to customer service? And what terms would you add to the 4 we mentioned above? To respond, just click “Comment” after the web version of this item. And thanks in advance for your thoughts!

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