The things that constitute good customer service can vary depending on the business type, and the type of goods or services offered. In general, however, good customer service is defined by attentiveness to the customer's needs, quick resolution of problems, and the willingness to listen to complaints or criticism from customers. Many businesses spend a lot of time and energy training their employees to provide excellent customer service, because it is often one of the best ways to ensure that customers will return.
In a store, for example, good customer service is important so that customers will return for additional purchases. When working in a store, one should greet customers when they enter. The employee might then ask if the customers need assistance in finding an item, but at the same time should not be intrusive if they want to browse on their own. Later, the employee may ask again if the customer is finding everything that he or she needs. When the customer comes to the register to check out and to pay for the purchases, the employee could ask if the customer found everything that he or she was looking for that day.
The checkout process should be fast, and as smooth as possible, with the employee being certain to give correct change and to thank the customer for shopping at the store. In all of these customer interactions, the employee should be smiling, polite, and respectful, making eye contact and listening to any problems the customer may have. This is just one example of providing good customer service in a retail environment. Another environment where customer service is important is in a call center.
Call centers exist for nearly every business; customers might with a question on a utility bill, to make a hotel reservation at a hotel, or to place an order from a catalog, just to name a few. Customers also often place calls to call centers to make complaints. Because all interactions take place over the phone in a call center, it is important for all employees to seem engaged with the customer, listen carefully to the problem, and try to get things resolved as soon as possible.
Businesses use many ways to gauge the customer service their employees are providing. Some use mystery shoppers, while others use phone, email, or paper surveys sent to customers to elicit their experiences. Each customer's perception of the business is integral to its success, and providing good customer service to every customer is one of the best ways to ensure a positive experience and good perceptions.