Because Small Business is Big Business

The ART of Customer Service

Customer ServiceCustomer Service…what is it?  Is it like beauty, you know in the eye of the beholder?  We all have a different perspective about what makes service good.  Many years ago, I worked for a very large utility company where I was recognized for delivering good customer service; I also worked for a ginormous telecommunications company where I received an award for quality service to customers.  Although I am a glutton for being recognized by those around me, I love the attention and it makes me feel valuable, nothing compares to truly knowing that I did something positive for someone else.  When I can see in customer’s eyes that they have found some satisfaction in their experience that involved me, I, too, get a sense of satisfaction.

Recently, I was involved in another situation that brought me a great deal of satisfaction.  I was at a shoe store where the salesman had gone out of his way to help a customer find the perfect pair of shoes.  The customer had traveled over two hours and had called weeks ahead to set up an appointment.  The salesman had pre-ordered some specialty models that he thought the customer might be interested in, although he knew he would more than likely only sell one pair of shoes.  He spent over an hour with the customer as he explained each model while doing at least ten different fittings.  He listened to the customer and really took in all the information in order to help make a good recommendation.  The customer explained to the salesman that she had been fighting many issues with foot pain and it was quite frustrating.

Once she had selected the shoes she wanted, it was oblivious how satisfied and almost relieved she was in making a decision and an investment.  The salesman answered all questions and made it a point to give the customer his card and explained that if there were any issues not to hesitate to contact him.  Although, the salesman maybe didn’t realize it, the customer left with such an elated feeling and with such anticipation of using the new shoes and alleviating the pain she had before.  On that day, a customer was greatly satisfied and it wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible patience, effort and attention from Art, the salesman.  I think about this each time I put on my tennis shoes!

Want to learn more about small business customer service?  Check out the book Rule of Thumb: A Guide to Small Business Customer Service and Relationships