Cornerstones of outstanding customer service

Customer Service is an essential part of our job and should NOT be seen as an extension of it. A company’s most vital asset is its customers. In essence, good customer service is all about bringing customers back. You will be judged by what you do and what you say. Learn about CORE Service Principles from Hotelier; Nick Bocock, in this article.

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One thing is non-negotiable in order to drive customer loyalty and business profitability – your customers must receive outstanding customer service.

The CORE Service Principles identify the fundamental cornerstones of customer service delivery and provide customer service actions essential to the delivery of outstanding customer service. The delivery of outstanding customer service is primarily about making clients feel special and valued, turning them into loyal customers who will, hopefully, become your business’s most effective sales force.

The CORE Service Principles fundamental cornerstones of outstanding customer service delivery are:

  • Competency – Service providers must possess sufficient knowledge, technical proficiency, qualifications and capability for the role they perform.
  • Outcome – Service providers must strive to deliver positive outcomes for every customer service encounter.
  • Reason – Service employees need to understand the reason for the existence of their customer service positions.
  • Empathy – Service providers need to imagine themselves as the client in order to gain an understanding and appreciation of the client viewpoint.

There are over one hundred CORE Service Principles customer service actions essential to the delivery of outstanding customer service. The following are the “top three” in each category:

Competency

1. Adhere to individual company service standards and operational procedures at all times.
2. Reflect on less than perfect service delivery experiences – ask yourself ‘how could I have improved that service interaction?’
3. Strive for service excellence at all times – pay particular attention to detail.

Outcome

1. Align every action, work process and service standard to the delivery of outstanding customer service – day, after day, after day….
2. Establish client preferences, requirements and expectations – ask questions (especially relevant, open-ended questions) to ascertain and clarify client needs.
3. Provide all clients with eye contact, a warm smile and a time-appropriate greeting (good morning/afternoon/evening) as they enter your business premises or approach your workstation – before they offer their own greeting.

Reason

1. Behave as if the success of the business you work for depends on you – it does!
2. Provide a memorable service experience for every client, every day, no exceptions – this is the fundamental purpose of every customer service position.
3. Value clients and remember they have choices – they can either patronise the business you work for (and in doing so, pay your wages), or they can take their business elsewhere.

Empathy

1. Acknowledge within (suggest) 30 seconds waiting clients not yet receiving service.
2. Provide all clients with a feeling that they have your undivided attention – listen attentively and ask relevant open-ended questions when necessary.
3. Provide consistent customer service – do not discriminate against others for any reason (some examples of discrimination include: sex, race, cultural identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, socio-economic standing etc.) 

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