Many companies just flat out do not care about customer service. Even if they say that they do, many are not doing what they need to do with their operations and employee training to make that focus a reality. They often view great customer service as a privilege that they deliver when it’s convenient to them or behooves them. That’s a lousy corporate position to take; customer service is not a privilege; customer service should be delivered if any company wants to stay in business.
But customer service also is not a right. Many consumers feel that receiving great customer service is a right, but as long as consumers have the choice of going from “Company A” to “Company B,” great customer service will never be a right.
Even though we think great customer service should be delivered, no company should have to deliver great customer service. Any company can make the decision not to deliver great customer service and therefore can suffer the repercussions of that poor service. So if great customer service is not a privilege and it’s not a right, what is it?
For the consumer, it’s a choice. It’s a choice they have to make that if they want great customer service, they have to go to the companies that deliver great customer service. In some cases, that might mean that they have to drive an extra mile. It might mean that they might have to pay a couple percent extra. It may mean that they might not get the exact item that they want. But if people want great customer service, they usually can find it if they’re willing to make the choices they need to make.
From the company’s perspective, great customer service is a commitment. It’s a commitment from senior management to invest in a vision and to develop and execute a plan to be great. It’s a commitment on the part of the employees to learn what they need to learn, and to deliver beyond what the customers would expect. And it’s a commitment to a business model that firmly believes that an organization’s success starts and stops with the customer.
Great customer service is not a privilege or a right. It is a choice by the consumer, and a commitment by the company.
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