Is Good Customer Service Dead???

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Some say good customer service is simply solving problems and offering solutions in an expedient manner.  Others say a pleasant and polite manner from those who represent the company is good customer service.  Bad customer service is easier to define and is basically when the client has a negative experience that is not attended to.

My definition of good customer service is service that delivers prompt solutions in a manner that enhances a client’s ability to deliver their own services.  If a solution cannot be immediately determined or found, then work is required behind the scenes to find one in an acceptable timeframe.  Going the extra mile for a client will be rewarded with loyalty.  Developing relationships with your customers and bringing a bit of yourself to the equation equals good customer service and creates a customer experience.  You gain trust, build valuable relationships, and have return clients that trust you and know you will serve them well.

In my previous employment, I was working with software that served the home energy rating (HERS) industry.  Our mission was to provide software and superb customer service to our clients and the HERS industry.  Our company was intimately involved with developing industry standards, setting policy, creating software and helping clients grow their business.  Out of our own personal and professional desires, we wanted the HERS industry to grow as well.  Our policy with clients was to give them whatever help they required no matter the topic or issue.  If a client contacted us with a problem, even a problem outside the scope of the software; we worked to deliver a good solution or response.  We knew that the success of the HERS industry we served translated into success for the software and the company.

As manager of the software, I expected that my team provide amazing service to our clients and placed a high value on customer satisfaction.  This meant that my team was never too busy to address the problems, questions or concerns of our clients.  Our software might not have been perfect, but I wanted our service to be.  One of my proudest moments was when during a review of our software by corporate, they found that we had unanimous agreement from our clients that our customer service was outstanding.  Our service was good enough that the industry would come to us for help with any industry issues or news.  My policy was to respond to each service request within 24 hours.  This type of service to our clients and industry helped us become the most widely-used software product in our industry.  In our corporate world, I was told that I focused too much on our clients and industry over the needs of our company.  To this day, I am very proud of that negative comment!  In my mind, in order to have a truly successful business, we needed to have more than just a great software product. Good customer service is the better half of a real successful business.

When I began my own business, I was astounded by support from colleagues and friends in my industry. I suspect this has just as much to do with the relationships I have developed as it does my years of experience.  I continue to deliver great consulting and customer service to best serve my clients.

My feelings about customer service is that it is an integral part of any successful business.  Great customer service is not only about finding solutions to issues.  It is:

  • Sharing knowledge and information
  • Support with technology issues
  • Training
  • Sharing and spreading industry news
  • Helping clients develop and grow their own business
  • Making temporary changes in operations to help those in difficult times

My business success hinges on the success of my clients.  I have always felt that this is an investment into my client’s business.  I have always enjoyed interacting with my clients and learning more about their businesses and lives.  I gage my success in my role on the success of my clients.  Through the years, I have built many great relationships by spending time getting to know my clients and understanding their businesses so that I can best serve them.  In many of today’s business operations, customer service has become an afterthought. I believe that great customer service can always be improved in business structure and it will continue to be a large part of my business operations. This is what you can rely on with me, El Jeffe, and Salcido Solutions.

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One Response to “Is Good Customer Service Dead???

  • Rick T.
    4 years ago

    Rob, besides the obvious technical and educational knowledge you possess, I have always said that this (Customer Service) was your greatest asset! You are one who lives by what you profess and I was ALWAYS grateful for the opportunity to work with you.

    Customer Service is one of the “common sense” topics that is tossed around in every industry, but few actually go beyond lip service to produce. As usual, your assessment above was “spot on!” I was sad to see you leave AE/NORESCO , but so glad to see you haven’t left our industry!

    I truly hope that there are future opportunities to engage in your services and expertise as it is always such a positive experience in an often negative world. I would be glad to support you and your new endeavor anyway I can. Stay in touch!

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