After reading Mandy’s blog yesterday, I was inspired to write about one of the core values listed that I would consider to be one of the fundamental components to any successful business: customer service. I don’t think there has ever been a day, nor will there ever be a day, where I say “working in customer service is easy”. Every day is different and every person you deal with is going to be different, but that’s what keeps it fun.
I have worked in customer service since the age of ten. From when I was ten until the year I turned fourteen I worked as a papergirl for the Chronicle Journal. I delivered newspapers every day to my customers, rain or shine, and I was also responsible for collecting payment from everyone who I delivered to. When I turned fourteen I started serving and have been a server ever since. While serving after high school I also worked part-time at a local Home Hardware store and I cleaned apartments for contract workers; once again in customer service roles.
I have always based my service off of the statement, “The customer is always right”. Whatever complaint I deal with or rude comment that comes my way, I always deal with it with a smile on my face, regardless of what I’m feeling inside. What I never realized though, until I started working at Plan A, was how essential providing ‘good’ customer service is to the success of a business. I always knew it was important, but I didn’t take into consideration how much of an impact it would have on the business overall and its reputation. It doesn’t matter how great the product is that you’re selling or the service is that you’re offering; if your customer service stinks, your business will sink.
I’ve been blessed to work for not one, not two, but THREE companies who put a large emphasis on the value of good customer service. Working at P&M’s Kouzzina for the last two and a half years as a server has taught me the importance of doing whatever you can for your customers to ensure that they feel as though they are valued and appreciated. As servers, we are constantly reminded of the following:
The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers. ~ Shiv Singh
Working for Plan A for just over a year taught me the importance of problem solving for my customers, since they are what keeps the business afloat. Although the answers may seem black and white to us, we are in the business of pleasing and helping others. Here’s something that I must constantly remind myself of:
Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They expect you to fix things when they go wrong. ~ Donald Porter
Working for StaffStat has taught me the importance of providing the best customer service I can, but through the phone instead. Working for a tech company is much different than working providing face-to-face customer service. It’s a completely different feel providing customer service to customers that I have never met in person before. Since I’m not able to create a rapport with my customers face-to-face, it’s been a learning curve for me to get used to creating that rapport and gaining their trust and loyalty over the phone. Although it may not always be easy, the following is a goal that I have set for myself personally:
The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary. ~ Sam Walton