29 July 2016

Sweetening your coffee with customer service

In the industries that I’ve been part of and the organisations that I’ve worked for, great customer service has always been crucial. I have always been mindful not to overpromise or underdeliver.

But how important is customer service excellence?

Could your business be successful without it? Could your price, or your product, get you over the line when the overall experience of the customer is below par?

And what constitutes customer service excellence?

Customer Service Excellence can be measured by a number elements:

  • Delivery
  • Timeliness
  • Professionalism
  • Attitude
  • Reliability
  • And more.

If a business doesn’t demonstrate customer service excellence, what are the possible outcomes?

  • Lost profit?
  • Lost potential profit?
  • Lost referrals?
  • Bad reviews?

Let’s look at a real-life scenario that happened just the other day.

Good_customer_service_leads_to_positive_business_outcomes.png

My sister recently moved to a new city. She was excited to find new ‘locals’ and places to enjoy in her new neighbourhood, including two cafes near where she lived.

Cafe 1 had great coffee. And she said it was GREAT coffee. But the customer service was terrible.

Cafe 2 had good coffee but the customer service was amazing.

Which cafe did she choose?

She chose Cafe 2. She simply couldn’t go past the overall experience that she enjoyed there. The coffee was not amazing, but the service made her feel special, like her needs were attended to. She always left the cafe in a good mood, rather than feeling annoyed that table service was slow or that staff spoke to her in a curt manner.

What were the outcomes for Cafe 1 for not demonstrating customer service excellence?

They lost out on profit, potential profit, referrals and, depending on how many people my sister talks to, they could also receive bad reviews.

The success of the business was definitely affected by a lack of customer service excellence. Cafe 1’s great coffee could not get them over the line when the overall experience of the customer was below par.

So, customer service excellence is important for business. Really important.

Now, over to you.

In your business, how can you express customer service excellence?