The Most Important Element in Customer Service

The most important guideline in customer service is very simple: to serve to customer. The moment you stop serving customer (and start offering policies instead) you are taking a step to a wrong direction.

I needed to get a key from one maintenance company as earlier they managed to give me a wrong key with words “try these”. This time I went to their office and had to wait for some time since the clerk was on a phone. I couldn’t miss hearing words “oh, so they key is not working?” from clerk’s mouth. I started thinking that somebody might have a similar problem…

The phone call continued and then I heard the clerk saying “I don’t know anything about that. You could call to the other company. They should know how that goes”. As he was saying that I noticed a sign on the wall that had couple of lines under a headline: “Our values:”. The 2 most striking sentences were “customer service” and “results”. I started thinking: these guys gave me wrong keys first (poor results) and somebody is calling about maintenance and they are avoiding responsibility by saying “I don’t know anything about that, ask somebody else” (poor customer service).

I wondered why they even have company values like that when they don’t seem to get things done (and by the way, “we get things done” is their slogan under their company logo). If the clerk would have shown a little bit of customer service, instead of avoiding the responsibility she could have said: “I don’t know how that goes, but I can find out. Please give me your phone number and I’ll ask about it and let you know”. Now she just didn’t want any additional work and buried in to the customer’s shoulders.

Naturally there are situations when customer service really shouldn’t take responsibility on some tasks, but I have visited their office earlier and also then I heard the sentence “I don’t know about that” – without any further action. That’s why I have slight doubts with their attitude.

Their job is to serve their customers! If they don’t know how something goes, then it’s absolutely fine to tell that – if they continue by saying that they’ll find out and let me know.

Back to the story. After the call the clerk took a big pile of keys and randomly attempted to give me some. I then I suggested that maybe some maintenance guy could check out the right key and drop the right key to our apartment. That was okay, and then I left.

I wonder how many others go there just to find out that they cannot get the right keys. I wonder how difficult it can be to have places for keys so that you can actually tell where they are used?

Customer service is about serving the customer. This company has slight problem remembering that.

Juuso Hietalahti


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