What Makes Great Customer Service?

Caring and Attentive Sales People Make Shopping Enjoyable


Customer Service Occurs in Various Sectors

In all areas of life, including business, great customer service is crucial to success. In business, customer service is arguably the second most important point, second only to the quality of the product itself. The value of strong customer service cannot be overemphasized, in that it increases our quality of life. Human beings do not live on isolated, personal islands. Our lives are intertwined, and in most parts of the world, people interact continuously every day, depending on each other and helping each other. When that service and help are given with grace, sincere caring, and expertise in the field represented, the quality of life increases for all concerned.

Unfortunately, however, the lack of exceptional customer service in most venues in today’s world is overwhelming, which makes social and business matters irritating and frustrating. In all areas of business, from medical offices to schools to mall shops to restaurants, all too often these days, the customer service associate who answers the phone, rings one up at the register, or staffs the front counter is self-absorbed, missing in action, uninformed about the basic information for which he/she should be responsible, or even blatantly rude.

Retail Customer Service Makes or Breaks the Shopping Experience

Several decades ago when one shopped at department stores, one was immediately greeted by polite associates eager to help, who remained visible and accessible throughout one’s stay. The associates were knowledgeable, and if they did not know an answer, they immediately found a manager who could help. In contrast, if one shops at a mall store or other chain today, it can be almost impossible to find an employee to answer a question, help one find a product, or ring one up at the register. When an associate is found, it is a gamble: will he/she be courteous or shockingly disrespectful?

Having worked in retail and customer service for decades, I sympathize with customer service workers’ sore feet and joints, boredom, growling stomachs/low blood sugar, lack of information and training, and resentment over low wages, no benefits, and no job security. That said, representing one’s self and one’s employer with the best effort possible shows character. Additionally, reaching out to fellow human beings with sincere goodwill and good manners should be learned in pre-school. By the time a person can work for a living, he/she should understand communication skills and good manners and employ them always, as a matter of course.

The Responsibility Begins with Management and Extends to Each Worker

However, there is a gap between what should be and reality. It is hard to learn manners, consideration for others, responsibility, and communication on the spot when one is hired at a job. In addition, unfortunately, often managers do not themselves possess exceptional personalities, senses of responsibility, and communication skills, and thus cannot teach or enforce those qualities in their workers.

Business owners and managers, as well as supervisors in all other types of enterprise (such as schools, hospitals) should make it their priorities to research, personally train in, and teach their workers the highest standards of customer service. Owners and managers should make sure employees engage customers with utmost respect and dedication, making that central to continued employment. If workers do not already have good customer service skills, training could be offered.

When business owners and managers acknowledge the incredible lack of excellent customer service in today’s society, they are likely to understand that changing that situation will jump start their businesses and support ongoing success. Commitment to the business or product; clear and correct communication; and knowledgeable, polite, and dedicated service will make any business one that customers trust and to which they return.

How Important Is Customer Service to You?

In your opinion, is customer service important (or is the author of this Hub simply crabby?)

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What Makes Great Customer Service? 8 comments

Stephanie Ann 8 profile image

Stephanie Ann 8 4 years ago from Norton, Ohio

I worked customer service for years and I agree that the better the customer service is the happier the shopper is and the more likely they are going to come back and spend money at your store again!

healingsword profile image

healingsword 4 years ago from California Author

Hi Stephanie Ann 8,

Thanks for reading and commenting! It does make all the difference how one is treated--and how one treats others.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

Nice hub and helpful videos! I have to admit although I had worked as a receptionist for several years, I'm still not very good at customer service at all. That's why I prefer working online! I do get some difficult customers on eBay every once in a while, but it's pretty easy to communicate with them through emails. I don't really have to hear their whiny voice, and they don't have to see my frown! Win-win situation! LOL

healingsword profile image

healingsword 4 years ago from California Author

Hi Om,

Thank you for reading my Hub and commenting! Customer service is hard; being "on" and professional for eight hours, or however long one's shift is, can be very trying. Working online at home is the berries, I agree, as long as one doesn't stay inside, online, and alone all the time, which is too alienating and lonely. I think whether one works in the public eye or alone, the important thing is to practice respect, kindness, and responsibility.

verygoodservice profile image

verygoodservice 4 years ago from London, UK

One cannot underestimate the importance of staff morale and culture in delivering customer service. If staff believe and have the right attitude, they will solve most problems

healingsword profile image

healingsword 4 years ago from California Author

Hi Verygoodservice, Thank you for reading my Hub and for your comment. Your remark is quite profound. "Staff morale and culture" is definitely a basic issue related to customer service. Truly dedicated and happy employees naturally engage customers more warmly and positively and naturally wish to return success to the business that treats them well.

How can businesses create a sincere dedication and positive spirits in all levels of employees, from owner to part timers? I think that such motivation requires more than a pep talk or a bonus.

verygoodservice profile image

verygoodservice 4 years ago from London, UK

Thanks for this, I think you should take a look at our hub called "empowering your employees" it covers some of these topics :)

healingsword profile image

healingsword 4 years ago from California Author

Hi Verygoodservice, Thanks for directing me to your Hub; your purpose in writing is certainly aligned with my Hub, here! I think you are correct that empowering the employees and allowing creativity in response to customers, rather than forcing employees to act from a strict script, is the better path. Neither employees nor customers appreciate being treated like objects. However, sincere dedication to the business is difficult to inspire in one's employees.

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