What is customer service?  Customer service is simply serving people.  Unfortunately many organizations have lost sight of this simple fact in today’s competitive environment.  

We often think about the word service in terms of being a service provider, which makes the interaction with customers transactional. 

Customer service however, is simply serving people.  When we serve people, we make the interaction relational.

Would you prefer to have transactional or relational interactions with your clients?  Which builds better brand loyalty, improves brand image, drives revenue and creates a stronger corporate culture?

A few years ago Shep Gordon, who is a famous agent for musicians, was on vacation for his honeymoon and 60th birthday.  He and his new bride were staying at an exclusive island resort in the pacific, rumored to cost around $20,000 per night.  When Shep’s new bride’s Apple computer stopped working, she called the concierge to see if they had someone on staff to fix it.

A few minutes later Steve Jobs showed up at their door and fixed her computer!  Steve Jobs happened to be vacationing on the same island, hears about the broken computer and goes to fix it himself!  There were so many other options he could have chosen, such as simply having a new computer delivered to their bungalow, or flying in a repairman the next day.  

He could have been extravagant in how he addressed the situation but rather than being extravagant, he made it personal.  Steve Jobs chose to sacrifice time from his vacation to personally fix the computer. That’s customer service reflected through the humble behavior of serving another person in a caring fashion.  

Ask yourself, when have you had a short interaction with someone that made a positive lasting impression on you?  When I ask clients this question they often have a difficult time initially coming up with examples. That signifies how rare true “service” really is.  

I challenge you to talk with your staff about the difference between service that reflects a transaction, and truly serving a client to build trust and real relationship.  

Serve your customers today.