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Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Bonnie Ross-Parker
Founder and CEO

Customer Expectations Vs. Customer Service

Contributing Author: Lissa Versteegh

Think of the last time you received really stellar customer service…..are you struggling?

Unfortunately, these days “good customer service” seems to be an oxymoron. But does it have to be? Are customer expectations really that difficult to meet? Most customers want a few basic things when they reach out to a company for help: attention, respect, resolution and yes….follow up! Instead, most of the time customers get: blame, lip service and no resolution, which opens the door for their competition to swoop in and take their customer.

It really doesn’t have to be that way….for the customer OR the customer service people, which we refer to as the “frontline people”. You see, it all starts with an “attitude of service”. Companies who recognize the true value of their frontline people realize these are frequently the only face of the company a customer ever sees. They recognize that the professionalism of the frontline people reflects on the entire company and the future of that customer is often in their hands. When frontline service providers begin to see themselves in that light, their attitude and quality of service changes too!

There is no question that job #1 must be to resolve the customer’s issue. But once that is done, do your frontline people have the ability to “fix the customer”? Anytime there is a product or service failure a sense of mistrust is created in the customer’s mind. Frontline service providers must be equipped to deal with the problem and the person.

Finally, the issue is resolved, but is the job done? I mean really done well? How would you as the customer feel if you got that phone call after the fact, just to make sure that your issue was resolved and that YOU were happy? Follow up is the frontline person’s opportunity to build a relationship that is strong and can withstand conflict if they are willing to take that extra step in an open and honest way. Who knows, your front line service providers could become one of the strongest components of your sales team….if given the right tools!

Lissa Versteegh is President of Sandler Training/Georgia Sales Development, Inc.
Lissa works with Presidents, CEOs and Business Owners helping them acquire and retain sales teams with consistently superior performance. This is done through a combination of evaluation tools, trained sales and management methodology based on a reinforcement model, and accountability based coaching.

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