Defining Good Service

I had an experience yesterday that got me thinking about service and point of view. Let me walk you through my experience… yesterday was a glorious fall day in New England– blue skies, cool breezes and crisp air. I was inspired to cook a hearty meal to warm ourselves after a day outdoors.  I pulled out recipes, created a list and headed to the store for ingredients. Feeling productive when I got home, I emptied my bags to begin cooking.  To my unpleasant surprise, I was missing a key ingredient that I knew I paid for.  Feeling aggravated by the error, I now had to go back.

I started thinking about how this may have happened.  When I was in line, I noticed that the bagger had forgotten an item and so I quickly grabbed it and left the store, not checking to see if anything else may have gotten placed aside accidentally.  If I had taken two more seconds to really look at the counter, I would have seen that one of my main ingredients was still there.

Did my plan get sidetracked because I wasn’t paying attention to the details of that interaction? Or, was it poor service?

From my point of view as a customer, it was poor service. But the more I considered the options, from the point of view of the service provider, perhaps I wasn’t paying attention? This begs the question… how many times have our clients had similar experiences with our service?

Right or wrong, good customer service is defined by the experience of the recipient. Good service is not a few grand gestures, rather it is the immediate experience weighed against the compilation of all of the smaller interactions.  Each reaction to an encounter makes a difference between client service success and failure. It’s the attention to detail that makes the difference.   It is up to us, as individual service providers, to make sure that each experience is positive because in any negative experience, whether of our own fault or not, we could be perceived as not providing great service.  When we regularly provide solid customer service in each interaction, regardless of the magnitude of the event, we build loyal relationships that thrive over the long term.