Great Customer Service Is Attitude, Individuality, and Freedom

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Customer service. It seems to be lacking, especially with the airlines.

We all know bad customer service when we experience it. Yet what is excellent or great to one person is mediocre to another. So, what is customer service in the end? Is it solving needs? Is it mitigating customer problems? Or is it something more?

Customer service is like leadership. We can all tell the bad and worse versions of both when we see it in action. We all know how great it can make you feel when you experience great service and great leadership. Like with great leadership, great customer service seems to be difficult to replicate.

Great customer service is not a replaceable part. It cannot be assembled in a classroom or in simple steps like the instructions for Ikea furniture. Great customer service from any business or company starts with the individual.

Hire Attitude, Individuality, and Freedom

Companies that have a reputation for excellent customer service are known for having the same traits. Those traits are attitude, individuality, and freedom. Their customer support teams are excited about working where they work, they enjoy solving problems, they all are a bit quirky, and they are given freedom of movement to create solutions.

A great example for a high-end provider of customer service is the Four Seasons Hotel chain. First they hire employees that match the brand image of the hotel chain, which is class and manners. These employees display an excellence in manners towards each other and their guests. They pay attention to detail in ways that the hotel guest will notice; making them feel as if their individual needs are attended to. For lack of a better term, the Four Seasons hires “neat freaks.” The second important item the Four Seasons chain provides is a freedom of movement to service a guest’s needs. Each employee at the Four Seasons is given a budget that they can spend on meeting the needs of their guests. This freedom of resources, in most cases cash, allows the employees of the Four Seasons to quickly solve problems and be creative in the process. The end result is that guests feel completely taken care of.

On the lower-end of providers is Zappos.com, the online shoe provider. Employees of this fast growing Internet store love shoes. The founder and CEO of Zappos.com, who is a self-confessed shoe aficionado, hires the same for his customer service staff. The customer service staff at Zappos.com is given the freedom of movement to solve a customer’s problems. This can be from a no questions asked return to helping the client find the best show at the lowest price for a particular occasion. The goal is to have satisfied customers, no matter how you get there.

Both companies are successful brands. Both understand that it is the customer who controls their destinies. Therefore they hire customer service representatives that match the attitude of their brand, enjoy solving the needs of their customers, and give the freedom to do so without giving away the store.

Your business can do the same. You have to be willing to hire employees that match best with your customers you have and the clients you want to get. You must hire employees that truly enjoy the intellectual challenge in solving customer problems. You must allow them the freedom to solve those problems. If you do, you will have created and executed a formula for success!


write by Guinevere

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