The Goal of Customer Service

Today is a short post, but I think it is an important topic worth thinking about.

A lot of people have trouble understanding the goal of customer service. The short term goal is to get the issue resolved. When a customer calls up, that is what they want to happen. They want the issue to get resolved – quickly and correctly. If you can resolve the issue quickly and correctly, the customer will be relatively happy.

Thinking about customer service as a means to get an issue resolved won’t provide great customer service, thhough. It may provide acceptable customer service or even customer service that is pretty good, but it isn’t exceptional. You have to think about customer service as more of a long term goal and a long term strategy. Great customer service is about more than just getting the issue resolved at that particular time and place.

But what about the long term goal? In a presentation I recently gave, I quoted Walt Disney who said something along the lines of: “You want to do what you do so well that they will want to come back and tell their friends.” I told the audience that they should try and deliver a customer service experience that makes their customers want to tell others about how great it is. The others I referred to, in particular, should be the customers’ friends and family.

If you can get your customers to tell their friends and family about your company, it will have a lot of benefits. You’ll save money on marketing, you’ll build your brand organically, you will get more customers, and perhaps most importantly, it shows that your customers trust you and are happy with the service you are providing. If a customer recommends you to their brother, sister, and/or boss, it shows that they feel you can do a good enough job to make that person happy.

Customer service is all about trying to get as many benefits as possible from it. You should resolve the issue, but you should also provide an experience that is so great that it will serve as a core element of your word of mouth marketing. And that, in turn, will lead to an improved bottom line and more business than you know what to do with.