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Customer Service….Lost Art??…Make it Your “Advantage”

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  • Customer Service….Lost Art??…Make it Your “Advantage”

    I don’t know when it all started, but somewhere over the last few decades I believe customer service started to plummet, and has never regained its rightful position. The smart companies never abandoned it, and that’s probably why they continue to flourish, no matter the economic times…….They continue to:
    - hire the right kind of people
    - mentor them and teach the value of customer service
    - monitor customer service within their organizations
    - “follow up” with their customers
    - reward loyalty
    - flat out “get” the concept

    On the downside, some examples of this lost art that I experience on a regular basis include Employees Who:
    - don’t know their products / services
    - openly blame others in their company when something goes wrong
    - are pre-occupied with other things, like talking to their friends
    - do not write down orders, and then proceed to mess them up
    - do not try to fix problems, and display little empathy in the process
    - do not add value

    To all of you who are in the job market or about to be……make this your value add. Clearly there is room for people who want to help their customers. This can be your “edge”. Believe me, if you haven’t figured it out yourself, people love service. Studies prove year after year that at least 2/3’s of customer loyalty is based firmly on service….not price, place, promotion or whatever the marketing folks are into these days. I love service so much that I will pay extra for it, whether it be a higher rated hotel when on vacation or basically, for just about any product on the market. And I’ll keep coming back to any company that treats me like an individual, and tries to provide solutions that meet/exceed my needs.

    So…GO FOR IT! Treat each and every customer experience like it’s the most important one. Thrive on it. Fix their problems, listen to them, learn your company’s goods and if you don’t have the answer, find it. Believe me, word will get around, and your bosses will get to know you (real good)!:thumb:

  • #2
    Originally posted by CanDB View Post
    I don’t know when it all started, but somewhere over the last few decades I believe customer service started to plummet, and has never regained its rightful position. The smart companies never abandoned it, and that’s probably why they continue to flourish, no matter the economic times…….They continue to:
    - hire the right kind of people
    - mentor them and teach the value of customer service
    - monitor customer service within their organizations
    - “follow up” with their customers
    - reward loyalty
    - flat out “get” the concept

    On the downside, some examples of this lost art that I experience on a regular basis include Employees Who:
    - don’t know their products / services
    - openly blame others in their company when something goes wrong
    - are pre-occupied with other things, like talking to their friends
    - do not write down orders, and then proceed to mess them up
    - do not try to fix problems, and display little empathy in the process
    - do not add value

    To all of you who are in the job market or about to be……make this your value add. Clearly there is room for people who want to help their customers. This can be your “edge”. Believe me, if you haven’t figured it out yourself, people love service. Studies prove year after year that at least 2/3’s of customer loyalty is based firmly on service….not price, place, promotion or whatever the marketing folks are into these days. I love service so much that I will pay extra for it, whether it be a higher rated hotel when on vacation or basically, for just about any product on the market. And I’ll keep coming back to any company that treats me like an individual, and tries to provide solutions that meet/exceed my needs.

    So…GO FOR IT! Treat each and every customer experience like it’s the most important one. Thrive on it. Fix their problems, listen to them, learn your company’s goods and if you don’t have the answer, find it. Believe me, word will get around, and your bosses will get to know you (real good)!:thumb:
    This is very true, just recently a Buffalo Wild Wings opened up in Brighton (Colorado) and my friends and I basically refuse to go there unless we sit at the Bar. We had a waiter that threatened to take my friends drinks away if they shared with me (I'm 18).

    I'm not an idiot, I know the rules don't threaten me man. It took us a half hour to get refills (well for me at least since I had to stick with Soda) and he refused to get my friend another beer until he finished his original one.

    I serve tables part time right now, and I'm not gonna lie. I make good money. Treat them like family, make small talk, shoot..even a cheezy joke here and there. I'm not saying I treat them like gods, but I treat em just like family. There isn't a feeling of dependency for me upon them, but I understand the value of having a server that is just real with you. Asks you about your day, just make small talk.

    It's as simple as that, a personal favorite trick of mine is getting names of the people at my table. They eat it up

    Edit: I like to think I'm a great server, but the thing is. Maybe the managers don't think as highly, as I get just a couple shifts a week.
    Last edited by str8jacket; 04-29-2009, 05:22 PM.

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    • #3
      Some people are cut out for customer service...some aren't.

      I can honestly say every job I've had where I have had to deal with customers I have wanted to pull my eyeballs out...ESPECIALLY at the restaurants I've been in (props to you Str8).

      Really, all the power to the people who can do it. It's quite a valuable skill.
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      And THAT'S, the Cosmic Perspective.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Gr3yStreet View Post
        Some people are cut out for customer service...some aren't.

        I can honestly say every job I've had where I have had to deal with customers I have wanted to pull my eyeballs out...ESPECIALLY at the restaurants I've been in (props to you Str8).

        Really, all the power to the people who can do it. It's quite a valuable skill.
        It's all a state of mind, if someone comes in with a bad mood I make it a personal challenge to at least brighten the day somewhat. I look at it like, "Well if I were in his position, if I were sad...I'd probably want someone to make it somewhat better"

        Granted not everyone can be "fixed" like this, so you can kind of tell early on whether or not you should lay off.

        I love working in a restaurant. I can't see myself doing anything else. (Not to mention I'm a pretty good cook)

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        • #5
          I've worked customer service a lot and didn't mind it.....the major issue with that job....is it's almost entirely entry level and practically anyone can walk off the street into it.....most notably food service....they are high turnover low paying jobs....and the moment something goes wrong most people lose their cool....many of these jobs are held by highschool/college students....who don't always have a ton of responsibility....they can just walk down the street into a new job....but companies hold a lot of responsibility as well....in this all bottom line driven world....labor costs are usually at an absurdly low budget number forcing you to require a lot of lower wage employees do the job of more than 1 person....there are also great employees that actually want to work overtime....but with certain labor laws....but mostly company policies most of these employees have to pick up 2nd jobs....to pay bills....this can result in very tired employees that cannot perform at 100 percent....great topic CDB
          "Badger my a$$ it's probably Milhouse...."

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          • #6
            I should add that customer service applies to most jobs. In our department we used to push internal customer service as well, that is, being supportive to your fellow employees, and other departments, who all rely on you for information or other services.

            So I'm talking about pretty much every job, where the end result is that a customer is being impacted.......and that just about covers everyone.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by str8jacket View Post
              This is very true, just recently a Buffalo Wild Wings opened up in Brighton (Colorado) and my friends and I basically refuse to go there unless we sit at the Bar. We had a waiter that threatened to take my friends drinks away if they shared with me (I'm 18).

              I'm not an idiot, I know the rules don't threaten me man. It took us a half hour to get refills (well for me at least since I had to stick with Soda) and he refused to get my friend another beer until he finished his original one.

              I serve tables part time right now, and I'm not gonna lie. I make good money. Treat them like family, make small talk, shoot..even a cheezy joke here and there. I'm not saying I treat them like gods, but I treat em just like family. There isn't a feeling of dependency for me upon them, but I understand the value of having a server that is just real with you. Asks you about your day, just make small talk.

              It's as simple as that, a personal favorite trick of mine is getting names of the people at my table. They eat it up

              Edit: I like to think I'm a great server, but the thing is. Maybe the managers don't think as highly, as I get just a couple shifts a week.
              I'm kindof in the same boat as you are.

              I like to try to put a smile on someones face by having a smile on mine and acting nice. If I don't sell what they want, I tell them where they can get it for the best price. I also like to tell people the truth in the stuff I'm selling; if the stuff is utter crap, I tell them. Pretty much I treat people the way I would want to be treated when I go to a store.

              With that said, I do have my limits. If the person is a d-bag to me for no reason, I'll sell you what you want, but don't expect me to be nice about it or go the extra step. Yea, I'm in customer service, but there is only so much crap I can take. If the person comes in with intent to be an idiot, like crashing the electric carts into displays, I'll tell them how much of an idiot they are and tell them to get lost.

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              • #8
                There's a department store here that I will not go back to. I was treated badly by a manager. I told her how I felt and why and she basically ignored me. She treated everyone else just fine. In situations like this, I wonder if there wasn't a bit of prejudice involved---I don't usually think this way because I tend to forget that I look a little different.

                I love going to Chick-fil-a. The people there are so polite to the customer and to each other. I don't even eat chicken (I'm a vegetarian). They have good slaw, tea and milk shakes.
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                • #9
                  I love going places with my dad because he teaches customer service to those in the hotel business so he knows this stuff. Whenever we go somewhere and the service isnt good or just plain sucks he lets them know. My family and I can only sit back and watch and try our best not to either laugh or look embarrased for the poor soul.
                  LET 'ER BUCK!!!
                  Adopted by: Peanut, Chazoe60, CanDB, RealBronco and JakeNbake

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                  • #10
                    I work 3 jobs (which will be cut down to 2 at around wedding-time! yay stress relief!!) in which customer service is an essential ingredient. I can do customer service like no other. I actually get pissed off when I get treated badly by employees of a company or witness someone else getting treated like crap. I'll gripe about it to Meg and she'll ask me, "Why does it matter to you so much?" It's because at all 3 of my jobs, I'm held to a very high standard, and it's just my opinion that everyone should be held to the same standard that I am. There's nothing wrong with that, either. It's not just all about money, either: it just makes my day more pleasant. Sure, I get the occasional person in a bad mood, but I try to be as nice and helpful as possible because who knows; I might just be the catalyst that drastically improves their day. You never know when something as simple as someone being nice will mean the world to someone.

                    I really realized that I was cut out for customer service soon after I had started working at the computer labs. I was doing something on my laptop when someone asked for help with something. The details are kinda fuzzy on what the issue was, I just remember getting this feeling of "I don't know how to fix this, but I'm hell-bent on finding out." I was apparently so helpful to her, that she wanted to know my work schedule so she could plan her study times around that so that I could help her again if she needed it. I wound up only seeing her a couple times after that, but that was the moment that I realized, "Wow, that was really satisfying...I am cut out for this line of work."
                    I adopted Peanut!!!
                    Adopted by *Atwater*!!!

                    I'm UNDEFEATED at Broncos games!!!!

                    12/06/09 @ Kansas City: W 44-13


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by osubroncos86 View Post
                      I work 3 jobs (which will be cut down to 2 at around wedding-time! yay stress relief!!) in which customer service is an essential ingredient. I can do customer service like no other. I actually get pissed off when I get treated badly by employees of a company or witness someone else getting treated like crap. I'll gripe about it to Meg and she'll ask me, "Why does it matter to you so much?" It's because at all 3 of my jobs, I'm held to a very high standard, and it's just my opinion that everyone should be held to the same standard that I am. There's nothing wrong with that, either. It's not just all about money, either: it just makes my day more pleasant. Sure, I get the occasional person in a bad mood, but I try to be as nice and helpful as possible because who knows; I might just be the catalyst that drastically improves their day. You never know when something as simple as someone being nice will mean the world to someone.

                      I really realized that I was cut out for customer service soon after I had started working at the computer labs. I was doing something on my laptop when someone asked for help with something. The details are kinda fuzzy on what the issue was, I just remember getting this feeling of "I don't know how to fix this, but I'm hell-bent on finding out." I was apparently so helpful to her, that she wanted to know my work schedule so she could plan her study times around that so that I could help her again if she needed it. I wound up only seeing her a couple times after that, but that was the moment that I realized, "Wow, that was really satisfying...I am cut out for this line of work."
                      You are set my friend!!! People love service....

                      :thumb:

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                      • #12
                        Honestly, I think it works both ways. Customer Service should be a two way street.
                        I've ran into so many customers that know if they act or say something specific, they will get whatever they want.
                        There are customers who look for bad customer service, and are constantly rewarded by yelling at, belittling the customer service provider.

                        I was in Customer Service for a long time- car rentals at the airport. That is face to face contact. While most were nice, there were some...you could just tell they wanted something for nothing.

                        I always try and be as nice as possible to the people in restaurants and check-out counters. I know sometimes they dont want to be there, and the delays in food or food quality are not their fault.

                        ...I just think its a two way street. If you treat a customer service person like crap, expecting stellar treatment in return is not a realistic expectation.

                        That said, I to those who work in CS, as it does take certain characters to do it.
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                        Adopted by: Peanut

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BroncoFaninMD View Post
                          There's a department store here that I will not go back to. I was treated badly by a manager. I told her how I felt and why and she basically ignored me. She treated everyone else just fine. In situations like this, I wonder if there wasn't a bit of prejudice involved---I don't usually think this way because I tend to forget that I look a little different.

                          I love going to Chick-fil-a. The people there are so polite to the customer and to each other. I don't even eat chicken (I'm a vegetarian). They have good slaw, tea and milk shakes.
                          Hey MD....were you hiding stuff in your bag again!!!!!:nono:

                          If you read VD's blurb on obsession with people, I gave some feedback along the following lines.....it's because you're "exceptional" (that's meant to be taken in a good way).

                          :salute!:

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                          • #14
                            One more thought....

                            If I owned a company, no matter who worked for me, whether they be accountants, lawyers, construction folks, technicians, whomever......I would put them on some form of customer service training. At some point every employee needs to get it....the service thing. It is what business is all about.... without customers you have no business.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BroncoFaninMD View Post
                              There's a department store here that I will not go back to. I was treated badly by a manager. I told her how I felt and why and she basically ignored me. She treated everyone else just fine. In situations like this, I wonder if there wasn't a bit of prejudice involved---I don't usually think this way because I tend to forget that I look a little different.

                              I love going to Chick-fil-a. The people there are so polite to the customer and to each other. I don't even eat chicken (I'm a vegetarian). They have good slaw, tea and milk shakes.
                              Vegetarian?!
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