In most businesses, once a customer begins dealing with the
customer service department, he or she is already in a negative
The best customer service representatives aren’t those that
simply neutralize the problem.
Outstanding customer service representatives take a negative
and turn it into a positive that ensures the customer is not
only happy, but is convinced he or she has had an outstanding
experience – the "Wow" Factor – that he would not have got with
any other company.
The key ingredients of the "Wow" experience are:
· Seamless Service
· Trustworthy Service
· Pro-active Service
Seamless Service means providing everything the customer needs,
not just what is required to meet the minimum standards. It’s
about making sure that they don’t have to wait and wonder.
Customers will appreciate a smooth, seamless process for
addressing their needs.
If there are several steps needed to take care of their
concerns, keep them in the loop – update them by email or with a
quick phone call so that they know you are working on the
situation and progress is being made. By keeping them abreast of
what is going on, you are letting them know you haven’t
forgotten about them and that you understand their concerns –
reassurance and communication are powerful customer service
Trustworthy Service is essential to retaining customers.
Promising a customer anything and delivering nothing is the
surest way to not only lose a customer, but get the kind of
“word of mouth” bad press that can ruin you.
Under promise and over deliver – If you promise a
satisfactory solution and then go the extra mile to not only
satisfy the customer, but gain their appreciation and “Wow”
them, you will get word of mouth that will bring new customers
Attentive Service means paying attention during and after the
contact. How many times have you contacted customer service and
been subjected to an obviously scripted response from the
customer service representative? Does it give you the feeling
they aren’t really listening, but just trying to get to the end
of their canned presentation?
Attentiveness should run through every customer service
experience, from listening carefully to the customer’s concerns
to following up after the exchange is over to make sure their
needs have been met. Listening isn’t just about hearing – it is
about understanding what is really being said.
The words are just the beginning –what about the customer’s
tone of voice? Her mood? Is she disappointed, angry or
frustrated? Keying in to the customer’s mood and responding
appropriately is essential, and it means not following a script.
Resourcefulness means finding solutions when there appear to
be none. Many companies have iron-clad policies that must be
followed whenever a problem arises; however, sometimes a
customer won’t be satisfied by the “company line” approach.
Resourceful customer service representatives know that there
is always a way to move beyond the standard procedures in order
to make a customer happy. Resourcefulness involves finding a
solution when a solution isn’t apparent. This may mean moving up
the chain of command before the customer demands to talk to your
Companies with excellent customer service also give their
representatives some leeway so that they can come up with
creative solutions on their own. When a customer senses that you
are going beyond the norm to help them, they will feel valued
Courtesy is a commodity that is becoming rarer every day. It
takes so little to be polite but it is becoming a lost art. Say
please when you ask a
customer a question, thank them for their information and take
your time talking to them.
Nothing makes a customer feel more devalued than being
treated like a number. Use the person’s name, make requests
rather than demands and know when to apologize. When something
goes wrong for a customer, they want to hear that you understand
their frustration and that you are genuinely sorry that they are
being inconvenienced. It takes nothing to say, “I’m so sorry you
aren’t satisfied and I hope we can do something to correct
Pro-Active Service means not waiting for the customer to come up
with a solution that you simply follow through on. A pro-active
customer service representative anticipates the needs of the
customer and follows through.
Don’t wait for the customer to ask you what you are willing
to do – anticipate the question and answer it before they can
ask. If they call and say they aren’t satisfied, apologize and
immediately suggest some solutions.
Customers want you to take the lead – acknowledge their
unhappiness, offer a solution or solutions and explain to them
how you are going to follow through. Pro-Active service means
taking the lead, which will reassure your customers that you
know what you are doing and that you will follow through.
If you keep these six keys in mind – seamless service,
attentiveness, resourcefulness ,courtesy and pro-active service
– you will be able to offer every customer the "Wow" Customer
Service Experience that inspires loyalty and keeps customers
coming back for more.
About the Author
Robert Moment is an innovative small business coach ,
consultant and author of “Invisible Profits: The Power of
Exceptional Customer Service”. Visit
and sign-up for the FREE 5 Day e-course titled, “Creating "Wow"
Customer Service Experiences”.