Customer service

I called the landscaping contractor who is

handling the work at my new house for some

information. I left a message.

A day passed without a response. I left

another message. Another day passed. I left

another message a modestly more

annoyed message this time. Another day,

another message.

By the time the contractor finally returned

my call after five days, I was so angry I could

barely conduct my simple business with him

with a civil tongue.

Any of you could tell a similar story about

lousy customer service. And, like me, you

undoubtedly have made a point to tell everyone

you know about your bad experiences

with one company or another. The failure to

provide good service is the fastest way to ruin

the reputation of a company.

The most common excuse for poor service

is that someone is too busy to listen to customers'


That's lame.

Often, the best customer service is provided

by he owners and top executives of

the busiest companies in town. They're the

folks who unfailingly return phone calls, listen

carefully and empathetically and follow

through. I'd bet that impeccable customer

service skills account for the rise of many

local executives. I'd bet, too, that their companies

are busy as a direct result of the

excellent service they provide.

But that's not the reason that the claim that

a business owner is too busy to provide good

customer service is lame. Business owners

who say they're too busy to take care of customers'

needs are without a clue about the

reason they are in business.

Customers are the only reason that we're

in business.

Stop and read that sentence again out

loud and more slowly this time. We hear so

much about the need for excellent customer

service that it becomes white noise. But successful

business people and successful companies

are those that manage to get the message

of customer service ingrained into their

very souls, from the company president

through all the ranks.

How do they do this? By doing it rather

than merely speaking about it.

Make this commitment to yourself: Today,

I will do at least one thing that demonstrates

impeccable customer service. I will blow

away at least one customer by providing a

sort of service that far exceeds anything he

might have expected.

At the end of today, I will have given no

one a reason to doubt my commitment

to service.

Then do it again tomorrow.

Will superlative customer service guarantee

your success in business? No. There are

no guarantees. But there's nothing we can do

that will greater, more consistent dividends for

our careers and our companies.


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