Can you define "Good Customer Service"?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Jack Pratt Signs

Can you define "Good Customer Service"?  There are many interpretations, but when you think about it, it's actually pretty difficult to put in a box and "define", isn't it?  

I've been doing a lot of thinking about "service", what it means to me, my employees, my partners and my clients.  I think that, first, it's a process - not a thing... so, putting it in a box really doesn't work.  Due to the many personal opinions, perceptions and interpretations of "service", an organization needs to be in agreement on what good customer service means so that a strategy can be built.  That's real important!

I believe there are some universal elements that must be implemented into an organizations "customer service process".  

  1. Efficiency (quick and accurate information to the customer)
  2. Fairness (reasonable and non-discriminatory)
  3. Competitive Pricing (not too high, not too low - we all have to make a profit)
  4. Satisfaction (buying should be fun)


In addition to these I've learned a few things in my years owning and operating a small family sign business.  The success of our business is not due to our superior quality product, our state-of-the-art printing processes, heavy duty materials, graphic design illustrations, or really anything about our signs.  It's about "Customer Loyalty".  Our business would not have survived if we did not have loyal customers.  Now, that's not to say that a quality product isn't important... in fact, my Grandfather insisted on it.

Building customer loyalty brings repeat business.  Repeat business brings more profit.  Good customer service generates strong relationships with your customers, so you can count on their return whenever they need your product/service.  Providing good customer service is about giving your customer an experience where they feel appreciated.

Have you ever had an experience where you felt like you (the buyer) was doing a favor to the company you were doing business with?  I told American Airlines, after dealing with a very unaccommodating representative, that I would never fly with them again.  She said, "Well, we'll miss your business"....  Whatever.

Without customers, businesses die.  Period.  It's not a lofty concept, but it's easy to get caught up in ourselves and our products/services when that isn't what actually builds a successful business.  Make the buying experience of your clients more creative.  Everyone loves to spend money and be romanced, so sell the "sizzle", lighten up, and always be closing!! 

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Comments (12)

Nor Yeretsian
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc. - Toronto, ON
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc., Brokerage Toronto

Monte, Good customer service is doing the right thing !

cheers

Nor

Mar 31, 2011 03:34 PM
Suzi Sandore
RealtyONEGroup - San Diego, CA
North County San Diego Homes

Great post Monte! I think you defined and summarized "good customer service" very well. It's something everyone talks about but few actually deliver.

Mar 31, 2011 03:46 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Without good customer service, our business would be dramatically reduced!

Mar 31, 2011 03:48 PM
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

I remember the old adage... the customer is always right. I know that's not always literally the case, but remembering that helps keep me in the best spirit of customer service.

Gretchen

Mar 31, 2011 03:52 PM
Matt Grohe
RE/MAX Concepts - Des Moines, IA
Serving the metro since 2003

Monte, I'd agree for sure. If you have an inferior product however service won't bridge the gap. Best,

Mar 31, 2011 04:02 PM
Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

I think we could add return calls promptly. Seems like the number one complaint I hear is no one returned their calls.

Mar 31, 2011 04:15 PM
Monte Pratt
Jack Pratt Signs - Oklahoma City, OK
Expert in sign manufacturing & graphic design.

@ Nor:  I completely agree.  I believe that when customer service is done badly it is because it is defined badly.  Thank you for your comment Nor!


Apr 01, 2011 03:50 AM
Monte Pratt
Jack Pratt Signs - Oklahoma City, OK
Expert in sign manufacturing & graphic design.

@ Suzi: Yes! Everyone does talk about it and claims to be the best at it.  I thought I knew what it was, but have realized that I am still learning.  As I said, it's a process.  Funny... the older I get the more i realize I don't know nearly 1/2 as much as I thought I did.

Apr 01, 2011 03:50 AM
Monte Pratt
Jack Pratt Signs - Oklahoma City, OK
Expert in sign manufacturing & graphic design.

@Sybil:  Indeed!  We need repeat business!  We need referrals!  Those are vital elements in running a successful business.  Thank you for your comments!

Apr 01, 2011 03:52 AM
Monte Pratt
Jack Pratt Signs - Oklahoma City, OK
Expert in sign manufacturing & graphic design.

@ Mel & Gretchen: I completely agree.  It is a privilege to serve.  The customer is not doing us a favor. Thank you for your thoughts!

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Apr 01, 2011 03:57 AM
Monte Pratt
Jack Pratt Signs - Oklahoma City, OK
Expert in sign manufacturing & graphic design.

@Matt: Finally, someone said it!  Thank you!  Our goal is to raise the standards of quality service and product.  Thanks again for your thoughts, Matt!

Apr 01, 2011 04:13 AM
Monte Pratt
Jack Pratt Signs - Oklahoma City, OK
Expert in sign manufacturing & graphic design.

@Randy:  Exactly.  Returning messages, whether they are e-mail, phone, text, etc.. is what I would put under the "effiency" category.  Quick info to the customer!  Don't leave them twisting in the wind!  Thanks Randy!

Apr 01, 2011 04:16 AM