To you, what exactly is "good" Customer Service?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by thedeejay, May 12, 2014.

  1. thedeejay macrumors 65816

    thedeejay

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada.
    #1
    I had walked into a store today to buy a battery. The sales person who was with me had been assisting me for quite a while and walked me through all the different brands along with their advantages (ie. one lasts longer, better quality etc.) and eventually I ended up buying it for $7.99. I asked him if he was this attentive to all his customers that bought batteries or other small items as he stated he didn't make much commission from it and he said yes. I was pretty surprised to find this. I'm glad there are still people like that who show good customer service regardless of the price tag of the item. So my question to you guys is - since everyones' needs differ, what do you guys consider "good" customer service?
     
  2. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #2
    That's not necessarily easy to answer. Are we talking at the individual level or the store level? The simple answer is that good customer service is simply having the sales person pay attention to me and what I'm saying, and then take the time to deal with my needs. I don't actually expect the sales person to know the answer - especially if I've thrown them a curve ball question. I'd rather they acknowledged their lack of expertise in that area, and then get the answer.

    A sales person can have great service skills, but if the company doesn't support it then the individual's efforts are often overwhelmed, I've found. In today's understaffed businesses I think people who would otherwise be good at customer service are not being given an opportunity. When there is a long line of impatient customers - and no relief is available due to store/management policies - then what is good service? Do you make the first few customers happy, and really piss off those at the back of the line? Or do you just give everybody mediocre service - but at least nobody has waited longer than absolutely necessary.

    In this case a better experience would be to hear the store calling in staff from other areas to help out.

    One of my markers for Great Customer Service though is how a store handles a mistake. I (usually) don't mind if a business makes a mistake - we're all only human (as long as the mistake is rare and not common practice of course). In this case I expect the business to acknowledge their mistake and to make at least a token effort at reimbursement or similar. You know... something like covering the shipping costs and adding an extra 'bit' to the package, or drinks are on the house.

    I recently had a case of exceptional customer service from - of all places - the provincial tax department. For two months I had two sales tax accounts that overlapped. My mistake when I transitioned my business. I had then filed my tax return to the old closed account - also my mistake - and I then received an arrears notice "pay now or else" on the current account. Yikes! So I called them to explain - and to get the proper forms for amending the sales tax return for the old closed account, and how to record the figures for the current tax account since it was an amendment to a tax form that I hadn't filed. A nightmare of forms to fill and file. And probably ****** up again.

    Instead the nice person on the phone in tax arrears department simply made all the amendments on her computer as we chatted. Took me less than 10 minutes on the phone and now I'm done until end of the next cycle. No forms or anything.

    That may not rank up with stellar... but considering who it was... it was a remarkable experience. Much much better than my last dealing with PayPal.
     
  3. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #3
    "Good Customer Service" is the conduct of someone who respects themselves (because they are respected, - and treated with respect by - in turn, by their employers), respects the product that they are selling, and, above all, respects the client, or consumer, or customer of that service…………..
     
  4. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #4
    Good customer service would know the answer you are asking. Not taking minutes to look up the answer or be unprepared. There are there to help the customer. Now that doesn't' mean that you get to be a dick to customer service or ask for something unreasonable.
     
  5. b3av3r macrumors regular

    b3av3r

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #5
    I would prefer someone spend some time to go find the answer instead of just telling me "I don't know" or whatever.

    Granted, they should know the answer to basic questions right off the bat, but you can't know everything about everything.
     
  6. pasqualino macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
  7. tigres macrumors 68040

    tigres

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Location:
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
    #7
    In my business, I am slow to answer specific questions that I am unsure of the answer. I find my clients are much more understanding when I call them back with the correct answer and scenario vs. being a "yes man".

    I double up on everything in my work, as the rules are constantly changing. Nobody knows it all; after 22 years, still learning.
     
  8. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    #8
    Three companies come to mind for me for excellent Customer Service…

    Walt Disney World Resort - I have never had an issue that these people couldn't resolve beyond my expectations and quickly. Ever go into Customer Service ready for an argument only to have the person fix it right then without any debate? Really leaves you with a different impression.

    Keurig - I swear by the Keurig Coffee Makers. I better because I've got more than a dozen of them. I've called them about a coffee maker issue on a machine that was several years past warranty. They shipped a new one without hesitation. They have replaced two coffee makers that I've had issues with, without even arguing.

    Fitbit - The Fitbit One was designed without a lanyard holder. These little suckers are easily lost. The company replaces lost units with a simple email form filled out on their website. Find your lost one a few weeks later? No issue. When I called them and told them I'd found my old one, and asked if they wanted me to send it back, they told me that they would remove it from the lost list (I assumed blocked) and I could give it to a friend.
     
  9. jeremysteele macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    #9
    Have to agree with that. I've never owned one, but when I was younger my parents used them. They bought one of the early models (in 2001ish) and used it for years. Unfortunately it had issues, so Keurig gave them a discount for a newer model, even their's was years out of warranty. The new model died about 1.5 years later, and they swapped it out for free.

    So... poorly made products - but at least the company takes care of the customers!

    Edit: Actually one more story - my parents bought a box of the k-cups. Every time they tried to use one they exploded in the machine.... literally... coffee everywhere. After 4-5 times they tried some old cups they had, and they worked fine. Kuerig sent out 2 free boxes as a "sorry!". Apparently a whole batch of k-cups were completely overfilled and were popping easily.
     
  10. arjo macrumors member

    arjo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #10
    To me, it's adding authentic humanity to interactions. The "authentic" bit is important; being nice but spewing BS just to sell me something, even if it's not the best decision, feels wrong. Good customer service is being genuine and directing me to make the best possible decision. I want to feel like I'm talking to a real person with independent thoughts and feelings, not a drone.
     
  11. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    #11
    I agree on this one. I can't stand calling in to an IVR system… Press "1" for English…
     
  12. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #12
    Being treated with respectful and knowledgeable about the product you are selling. Honesty goes a long way instead of some cheap sales tactic. Being pleasant and willing to assist with any request a customer may have.
     
  13. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #13
    Why would you have questions about batteries?
     
  14. malman89 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #14
    It may be a weird example, but one of the lasting memories of great customer service was at Dewey's Pizza in Cincinnati. You have a server that greets you, seats you, and takes your order, but besides that it's a free for all. All servers must assist any customer at any time and have to be out on the floor or walking around the dining area. One girl took our order, three different waitresses walked by and refilled our drinks without asking (typically around 1/2 to 1/3 remaining at lowest), our original waitress asked how everything was, and yet another one brought out a to go box and our check. It was so incredibly efficient. I probably drank way too much pop due to the speedy refills.

    I don't understand why more restaurants don't do this. I often go with my dad, uncle, and cousin to a nearby restaurant (typically a TGIFridays or Ruby Tuesday) for Sunday lunches and they're mostly dead. There'll be 2 hosts and 4 servers in the place doing basically nothing, but ours is nowhere to be found and you have to wait 5 minutes for them to reappear and ask for a refill.

    I would guess people are protective of 'their' tips and Dewey's must pool theirs among the staff. Also the place (at least the one on Madison) is jam packed at all times, so I'd guess it's improbable any wait staff has a really bad night when it's all said and done. They're also not a typical restaurant - my buddy said they closed to remodel for a month or two and still paid their employees during that time. Great pizza and even better service? They won me over.
     
  15. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #15
    The problem with pooling tips is that your coworkers could be lazy *******s and get part of your money.
     
  16. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #16
    Why do you need a dozen coffee makers?
     
  17. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    #17
    I have offices at multiple properties plus my home, my cabin, my rv and portable one to pack should I need to stay in a hotel. Over time, I just kept picking them up when I found them on sale until there was one at each office. Disney World serves Nescafe at all of its resorts. (They do have a Starbucks in the Magic Kingdom now.) Nescafe barely qualifies as coffee.
     
  18. ChrisTX macrumors 68030

    ChrisTX

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #18
    Good customer service should be second nature to anyone in retail or sales in general. You just can't teach people to be courteous to their customers. You're either nice and attentive to the customers needs or you're not. It also depends too on how much the employee loves their job. Obviously someone that isn't passionate about what they're doing is going to provide lackluster customer service.
     
  19. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #19
    Agreed. I don't mind if someone has to ask another person for the correct answer. I'd rather wait a few minutes to get the right answer than deal with the aggravation of getting the wrong answer.
     
  20. Felasco Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    #20
    I had a great customer service experience just yesterday. I contacted a company I had bought some Mac software from ten years ago. I had a few obscure types questions that weren't really best addressed to them, but I just didn't know who else to ask.

    They immediately responded with everything I needed and more, solving the entire issue, as if they'd missed me all these years and were happy to hear from me again. :)

    If you are in to Mac video, give them a try:
    http://www.geethree.com/
     
  21. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    #21
    Good customer service is designing a product with ease of use and a failure rate that is so low that customer service isn't needed in the first place. For example, the Alien Bees photography lighting company has claims of amazing customer service everywhere you look on the internet where as a company like Dynalite rarely has people extolling the virtues of their company service department. The Alien Bees company provides great customer service, but they have a high failure rate whereas the other company doesn't. Does this mean that Alien Bees provides a better service to their customers?

    Also a company that does not use their customers as beta testers.
     
  22. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    The "Garden" state
    #22
    Customer service to me means being treated as though you're the person's entire job at that moment. I don't expect that everyone can fix an issue, but if they clearly focus on how to fix it or work hard to get me to the right person, that's good service. If I am in a store and there's a line, but they promise me they'll help momentarily and give me the same attention they gave the people in front of me, that's good service. It's about being treated with respect.

    One of the best places for customer service is actually my local Verizon store. Even if I go in there and it's packed, someone takes my name and assures me help is coming soon. No more than five minutes goes by without someone updating me on where I am in the queue, and even when I've gone in there for something silly, or with a quick question, I've always had the full attention of the associate and they always insist on walking you to the door and shaking your hand when you leave. It has to be the local management because other stores aren't nearly as helpful or friendly, but it makes a huge difference-my guess is someone in management at the store is trying to emulate the Apple store, and it really makes the process more pleasant.

    It's amazing how a handshake and a "Thanks for coming in, have a great day" can make any experience brighter.
     

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