A few weeks ago I was told in an email that I didn't know the difference between customer service provided by a service provider and customer service provided by a store clerk. It wasn't suggested in a nice manner so it's something I've been mulling off and on for a few weeks. I knew I would blog about it, but wanted to make sure I wasn't reacting to the tone of the email.
I guess for me there really isn't a difference.
As a service provider (my courses) I do my best to meet the needs of my clients. I can't tell you how good it makes me feel to receive positive reviews on the evaluation forms I use at the end of my classes.
I also greatly appreciate anyone who provides a good service for me. It doesn't matter to me if you are a clerk in a store, the person bagging my groceries, the customer service associate on the phone or someone I've hired to perform a job or task. I'm quick to thank them for a good job. If I get one of those store survey links on my receipt I do the survey and try to mention by name the associate who helped me out. I can only hope the feedback from those surveys does reach that employee or their manager so they know that their hard work is appreciated.
Do you let people know when you appreciate the effort they put in to help you out? Part of what I read into in the email was that the expectation is that the clerk in the store is expected to provide good customer service, and thus is not deserving of any type of reward or tip. Conversely we should be overjoyed that the service provider actually did provide good service and should be given additional monetary compensation for a job well done. Is the expectation then that we are expecting them to not do a good job and then only pay their normal rate for poor service? Think about some of your past shopping experiences, we can all think of a really good helpful person and someone who was just meeting their job description.
I don't teach my courses expecting tips for doing a good job. Technically I really am only expected to cover the course material and that is it. I make my classes fun, interesting & exciting because I want to and because I want the participants to value what I do and call me again in 2 years when they need to recertify.
Good customer service means repeat business, no matter if you're a store clerk, delivery person, dispatcher, web designer, coach, product installer, writer or a CPR instructor. Don't be shy about letting someone know that you appreciate their hard work, dedication and that they're doing a good job. I obviously can't speak for everyone, but having someone tell me that they appreciate what I do or how I do it means a lot.