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80 Percent of Customer Service: Just Being Nice

Author Shephyken
#1 | Posted: 9 Nov 2012 11:28 
Woody Allen once said, "80 percent of success is just showing up." To that I would add, "80 percent of customer service is just being nice."

This fits in well with my recent focus on the simplicity of customer service. Not to over-simplify, but really, being nice is the greater part of customer service. With that said, however, there is still the remaining 20 percent, which consists of two additional elements: business operations, and the quality of your product or service. Being nice is essential, but by itself, it is not enough.

Business operations are the processes that it takes to run your company — manufacturing, warehousing, accounting, hiring, and so on. These happen behind the scenes and are not part of the customer experience, but they do affect customer service. They are necessary processes to producing a product and delivering it to your customers.

The other element is the quality of your product or service. This will vary among companies according to the customer's expectations. If the customer pays a premium price for an expensive, name-brand watch, he will expect it to last for years. If he picks up a cheap watch at a discount store, his expectations would be different. He may wear it for a few weeks or months, then discard it when the band breaks or the timepiece stops working. In either case, there is a certain quality standard that is expected.

Once these two elements are in place, then comes the "nice" part — the delivery. Even with a quality product and superb business operations, the frontline customer service experience is still the most important part of the mix. Remember, it is 80 percent of customer service. Make sure that those in control of the customer experience are aware of their role and of the importance of delivering attentive, courteous service.
Are you realizing the impact that being nice can have? Because of nice people providing an amazing experience for customers, people will pay more and become loyal to the brand — whether it is for a cup of coffee at Starbucks or a steak at Morton's.

What if your business is an online enterprise only? You still control the customer experience. Here you must provide a pleasant experience by keeping your site easy to navigate and understand. Look at online retailer Zappos.com. Its customers know that they are valued — even though they are shopping online, every page of the website features a phone number customers can call if they have questions or problems, or if they need assistance with an order. It's an important part of their customer service.
Customer service can set you apart from your competitors. Though you may be one of many companies offering a particular product, you can differentiate yourself through your level of service. And, yes, it really is pretty simple — just being nice is more than half the battle.

So, combine successful business operations, a quality product and a pleasant delivery and you have a plan sure to keep customers satisfied and coming back. Now, isn't that simple?

Author Kats666
#2 | Posted: 28 Nov 2012 14:31 
But lately, I've wondered about the word "nice". More and more it seems, that this word means "nothing inside of me cares enough!" We are saying nice to typical questions, we don't want to think about it?
So does this mean, that 80% of customer service doesn't care enough?

Author Shephyken
#3 | Posted: 7 Dec 2012 10:06 
Nice is just doing the right thing and being... nice about it. Pleasant, good attitude, positive, these are all words to explain nice. Do that and you're getting closer to delivering a good customer experience.

Author imjulieb4u
#4 | Posted: 21 Dec 2012 08:20 
The nicest person in the world can't deliver excellent customer service if they aren't competent. I would say you must have both because obviously a rude competent person can't deliver excellent customer service either.

Author Shephyken
#5 | Posted: 28 Dec 2012 12:26 
There is definitely a balance between attitude and skills. Many times you can train the skills but training the attitude is much more difficult.

Author Enkata
#6 | Posted: 29 Jan 2013 12:42 
Better contact center coaching is what makes a nice employee a great customer service rep. It's hard to train an attitude into someone and have it come across as genuine. But when you start with a friendly, happy, nice and pleasant person you CAN train them to deliver on the customer experience. Like you said, they are already 80% of the way there!

We actually just published a blog post about how investing in your agents leads to better customer service so it was perfect timing finding this thread!

http://www.enkata.com/resources/blog/create-better-customer-experience -better-contact-center-coaching

Customer Service Forum Customer Service Manager Forum / Customer Service Forum /
 80 Percent of Customer Service: Just Being Nice

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