I often find myself pondering how an individual defines great customer service. I know for me personally it depends which way the wind is blowing for what sort of customer service I enjoy at any particular point in time. For example, if I have had a particularly long day at work and need to stop for milk and bread on the way home, I do not really want a deep and meaningful with my eager checkout operator. Equally, I would probably take note if they were emotionally absent and struggled a mere “hello”. No pleasing some people!
So in my view, there is no text book way to handle customer service. We have customers that are inherently grumpy types and we know how they tick – be efficient, to the point, get the job done, deliver on your promises, then get out of their way. We then have other customers who are quicker to share what they got up to on their holiday, share the anguish they are enduring with their teenager and so on. Both the customers described will likely give us a 10/10 for customer service as is shown in our annual net promoter score survey. Sure, we can teach people core customer service skills and attributes, but that will only get you half way at best. The key is choosing the right people. People with the emotional intelligence to differentiate between a customer who doesn’t want to burn half an hour having a coffee and chewing the fat, and one who does. It requires a bit of a chameleon to truly deliver a tailored customer experience.
Layered on top of here is the authenticity piece. There is no point changing your colours to engage with your diverse (oh my, how diverse!) customer base if it is delivered in a shallow and disingenuous way. The team members I have seen achieve the most with their customers over the years are those that are not just changing colour for their customers, but doing so in a way that is meaningful to them and is honest and true to the way they think and operate. They love what they do and they love the diverse personalities they get to do it with.
You can’t fake love, nor you can you fake epic customer service.