Good Customer Service: It’s my pleasure

By Meg Sherman, CTS | Vice President

I’m a big fan of good customer service.  And, I’m not really picky about where it’s coming from.  I can quickly decide whether or not a company will get a lifetime of business or referrals from me if they provide good—or great—customer service.  Case in point:  there are two places near my house where I can get bagels.  Both have a good selection, make them fresh, and offer tasty coffee to go along with it.  I choose one over the other because of—you guessed it—good customer service.  Simply by being consistently helpful and friendly, one bagel shop triumphs and gets my business as long as its there.  OK, it’s the Brueggers on Erie and Thompson…I’m a frequent flier there.  Now, keep in mind, they are not handing out free dozens to me, nor are they rolling out the red carpet.  But, I’m a familiar enough face there that I am always greeted with a smile & never handed a buzzer while yelling “next”…  The food is always good & it’s really a simple recipe to ensure repeat business.  Easy. Right?  You’d be amazed at the people out there that really can miss the boat…

I think what sticks out more—and can be exponentially damaging—is poor customer service.  I boycott places that provide poor customer service.  There is a big box home improvement store: let’s say it rhymes with “shmome schmeepo” that I avoid like the plague. A horrifically bad experience about 5 years ago led me to this boycott.  And, I’m happy to share my bad experience so that no one else has to endure the wrath of poor customer service that I went through.  I’m also happy to share poor customer service experiences at a few local car dealerships, hair salons, and restaurants.  I have a list…it’s in my brain, but poor experiences stay with me.

I could truly write a 5 page rant, but will spare you.  In a competitive business world, why on earth would you not provide customer service that is exceptional and memorable—each and every time?  Friendly people to answer your phones, associates that use terms like “absolutely” and “we can make that happen”, and the promise to always go above and beyond.  One of our team members uses the term “it’s my pleasure”.  I smirk when I hear it, because I just love it.  I think the people on the other end of the phone are smirking too.  Smart people in today’s competitive business climate should employ only those who are truly devoted to providing great customer service.  They are helping retain and grow your customer base each time they say “it’s my pleasure”.

Connect with Meg Sherman on LinkedIn.

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7 Responses to Good Customer Service: It’s my pleasure

  1. Anne Messenger July 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    Love the post, Meg, and totally agree!

    • Contemporary Personnel Staffing July 20, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

      Thanks, Anne! I’m pretty passionate about it!
      BTW- Tracy Tillapaugh just posted a few blog entries on syracusejobs.wordpress — check ’em out! She’s a great writer.

  2. Ellen July 20, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    I think a lot of employees would like to provide good customer service, but are also trapped between that and pleasing higher-ups at the company, who may or may not be their direct supervisors (who also may feel trapped into pleasing higher-ups). In the real world, any company is more or less a monkey-chain of middle managers who feel they have to suck up to the real or imagined requests or policies of higher-ups. The consumer/customer tends to get lost in that shuffle, as do the lower-ranking people on the floor who are dealing with the customer. Poor customer service, in general, comes from employees who are poorly managed and given too many tasks to concentrate on. So, it’s not so simple as hiring floor people who want to provide great customer service. Often these floor people have their hands tied in one way or another by management.

    • Contemporary Personnel Staffing July 21, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

      Ellen, you may be right–but, think about companies like LL Bean. They are a large corporation that instills excellent service top down, bottom up. You hear it when you call there–each time, every time. It can happen with both large and small businessess– people just need to believe that giving good customer service makes a difference!

  3. drmike July 21, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    While I agree with you the individual Bruegger’s having wonderful customer service, Bruegger’s corporate is a nightmare. I now have three complaints (Poor wifi conditions, poor conduct of one of their marketing managers while she was at a location, and asking for escalation to Greco since no one wanted to respond to the first two.) in with their corporate for weeks now with no follow up out side of being told by Paul Accordino, a multi state operations manager, that they don’t respond to complaints.

    The stores are wonderful. It’s a pity that their corporate doesn’t have the same mind set.

  4. drmike July 23, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    Thanks for that. Unfortunately the situation has changed since then and after a discussion in store with a higher ranked manager who bullied and threatened me, I will no longer step foot in a Bruegger’s.

    Just an example of how corporate problems can effect what happens at the store level.

    I’m glad though that you enjoy them.

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