The Importance of Good Customer Service

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  • 0:03 Customer Service
  • 2:50 Good Customer Service
  • 4:53 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

Providing good customer service is critical for a company's success! If your company is struggling, this is the first area to evaluate. This lesson defines customer service and explains how it can have a positive impact on a business.

Customer Service

Customer service is the assistance that employees of a company provide to customers. This assistance can come in many forms. For example, technical support for a customer struggling with Internet or phone interruption is considered customer service. Advice on how a company's product might fit in to a customer's needs, such as how certain soil might help a customer's garden, is also customer service. Even simply helping a customer locate an item in a store is customer service. Everything an employee does when interacting with a customer reflects on customer service, and every interaction matters.

Still, have you noticed that few companies really understand the value of good customer service? We have all experienced being on hold for a long time, or encountered an employee who either didn't know how to answer our questions or didn't care to. In fact, it happens enough that we can all remember choosing to use a different company as a result of bad customer service. For example, maybe you switched to another bank because of unnecessary fees your former bank charged you without telling you. Maybe you started going to a new breakfast restaurant because you found the staff to be much nicer and more efficient.

Likewise, we all remember when we receive great customer service! We remember the taxi driver who took a shortcut to help us get to a meeting on time or the hotel doorman who suggested a great restaurant. We remember these encounters, and we tend to tell people, both in person and online about them.

That is exactly why good customer service is so important! In a market where consumers have more information and options than ever before, providing good service sets one business apart from another. Businesses who put their customers' needs first and make them a priority are miles ahead of their competitors. In an age where customers can easily provide feedback online and via social media, good customer service is more critical than ever before!

For example, let's say you are working on improving your lawn for summer. You spend time weeding and mowing but it isn't looking how you imagined. You need help. The first lawn shop you visit has competitive prices, but the employees are not well-versed in how to re-landscape and offer few helpful suggestions. The second shop has a huge inventory of products, but you couldn't find anyone to help you. Frustrated and discouraged, you venture to a third shop where the prices are quite a bit higher than the other two centers. However, the employees are incredibly helpful and are attentive to your needs. Before you leave, you have a plan of how you will finish your yard, what supplies you need, and you even have a scheduled delivery of those supplies for later that day. You are so pleased, you leave positive feedback on their Facebook, Instagram, and Yelp pages.

Good Customer Service

Note in the example above that you were willing to pay more than you would have at other shops because of good service. This is an important factor in customer service -- the bottom line is not always about price. This is very important for owners of small businesses! Small business owners may not be able to get products as cheaply as big chain stores, but that doesn't mean they can't succeed. Many people like small businesses because they specialize in providing consistently great customer service.

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