The Fundamentals of Customer Service

Services and service are not the same thing.

check.png Services are what you provide to customers as part of your product.

check.png Service is how well you do what you do — how well you deliver your product to your customer.

example_smallbus.eps In many businesses, customer parking and free coffee are considered expected offerings. They become indicators of great service when they rise above standard levels. For example, a clean, well-signed parking lot with the most convenient spaces reserved not for staff but for customers, and refreshments provided in an inviting reception area, set service-oriented businesses apart.

To move your business into the circle of excellence, become familiar with each step in the service cycle. Then evaluate how your business currently performs at each point of service delivery, set improvement objectives, target your efforts toward those customers you’re most apt to turn into loyalists, and build a company-wide environment in which excellent service becomes a required standard. The following sections take you through these steps.

Mastering the service cycle

Customer service starts before the sales presentation and continues well past the time of purchase. ...

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