Firstly, the following questions need to be answered in
Is this principle really important for my organization?
If it is important, are we actually implementing this principle
consistently and thoroughly throughout the organization?
If we are implementing it, is it proving to be effective? In
other words, is this principle actually working to consistently
deliver complete customer service to every customer every time?
If it is not effective, what is the first thing that needs to be
done to improve its effectiveness? What resources do we need to
get this done? Who needs to be involved in developing and
implementing this first step?
When you answer these questions in the order listed, you’ll
quickly discover where the weak points are in your internal
process chain of customer service and what you can do quickly to
strengthen or change them for immediate improvement.
Here are the 15 principles for complete customer service:
1. The primary cause of success for any organization is service
to its customers.
2. Everyone in the organization provides service for its
customers, even if they never see those customers or know their
3. Perception is reality in the minds of every customer when it
comes to experiencing service satisfaction.
4. Every customer is different in some way from every other
customer; discovering and understanding these differences
results in a high probability of delivering service in a manner
that is perceived to be satisfying to each customer; service to
each customer that is tailored to individual needs is the
primary objective of any successful organization.
5. Serve every customer as you would serve the person you most
6. Every successful organization strives to ensure that its
internal systems are designed and implemented to deliver
flawless and seamless service to every customer under all
conceivable conditions and circumstances.
7. Service to customers is based not just on systems, processes
and procedures but also on personal effort and creativity of
those who serve. Encourage, support and reward personal
initiative in exhibiting creative ways to serve others both
inside and outside the organization.
8. Successful organizations serve well those who serve customers
– internal customers (employees) are served as well as external
(paying) customers; creatively taking care of those who take
care of customers is a priority.
9. Solicit feedback from customers at all times and then listen,
especially when it hurts.
10. Seek always to do it right the first time; if this is not
done, then do it very right the second time. Service recovery
after initial service failure is paramount to grasping victory
from the jaws of defeat.
11. Continuously measure how well customer service is
translating into customer satisfaction. Statistics tell stories
– are these stories what you want told to your customers?
12. Policies trump processes and procedures. All processes and
procedures should be designed and implemented in the service of
the organization’s stated reason for existence – its mission to
serve its customers.
13. Use the Kaizen philosophy: set goals to improve everyday in
14. Employ Lagniappe: delight customers by providing more than
15. Always be willing to start from scratch in thinking about
how to better serve customers. Effective customer service
policies, processes and systems can be viewed as
wealth-producing assets. Not every asset, however, can be
efficiently used to turn a profit. Using the right assets in the
right way produces wealth,
About the Author