Ethics Center: Customer Service

Customer Service: Deliver or Die

It’s a dog-eat-dog customer service world. Which means companies that deliver the best service wins, and the ones that don’t die. Do you want to be a survivor? Then figure out the service your customers want and then deliver it!

Here’s what customers are looking for.


Promises Kept:

  • Did you make a strong service commitment and then follow through? 
  • Did you exceed your customer’s expectations?
  • Did you under promise and over deliver?

Professionalism Conveyed:

  • Do you convey trust, skillfulness, and confidence?
  • Do you know the features and benefits of your products?
  • Do you know how your company works and when and to whom to refer a customer to another person or department?
  • Do you listen hard to the customer in order to define the person’s problem?
  • Do you know how to quickly solve the most common requests or problems?

Attractive Appearance:

  • Are your web site, brochures, catalogs, etc. appealing to the consumer?
  • Is your office or store well laid out, well lit, and clean?
  • Do you dress appropriately?

Empathy Displayed:

  • Do you know how to assess the customer’s emotional state and how to respond effectively?
  • Do you treat customers as individuals, not numbers?
  • Do you treat customers with empathy, while remaining objective?

Responsive Actions:

  • Do you respond quickly to customer service requests?
  • Do you set appropriate deadlines for service delivery?
  • Do you meet your deadlines?
  • Do you acknowledge customers who are waiting while you’re busy serving another customer?

Adapted from: “Marketing Services: Competing through Quality,” Leonard Berry and A. Parasuraman