Customer Service Mindset

Getting Passionate About Satisfying Others

© iStockphoto/AndyL

The customer is #1.
The customer is always right.
Greet customers with a smile.
Answer the phone by the third ring.

Customer service mantras and rules are common. But are they useful when it comes to actually delivering customer service?

Will simply instructing your staff to "greet customers cheerfully as they walk through the door" have any real effect on how the staff handles questions that customers then ask?

When a steaming mad customer tells you that you're incompetent and promises to have you fired, can you believe that he's "always right"? 

And when your boss asks for a report at the same time that the guy in finance needs today's closing balances, are you likely to answer your phone by the third ring rather than let it go to voice mail? Probably not.

To deliver exceptional customer service, following a bunch of rules usually isn't enough. So, instead of rules, you need to adopt an attitude, or mindset, whereby satisfying the customer is your number one goal.

If you adopt a customer service mindset – and recognize the importance of that mindset to your organization, your job, and your job satisfaction – then you're well on your way to success. Truly great customer service is built on a genuine desire to please and satisfy the customer.

Everyone is a Customer, to Some Extent

The foundation of good customer service is the notion that everyone is a customer, at least to some extent.

Customers are obviously. customers. Your boss is clearly a customer, and it clearly makes sense to work hard to give customer satisfaction here!

However, co-workers are customers, where team work is needed. People in other departments are customers when they depend on your work to be able to do their own. And even suppliers are customers, when it comes to making sure that they're paid on time.

With all of these, you're focusing on making relationships work better. When you apply this mindset, you provide the same level of service to others that you would want from them in return.

What does this mean? You end a personal phone call when a customer walks in. You work with your supplier to create a reasonable solution when your order was misplaced. Or you stay half an hour late to help your co-worker finalize the proposal that your boss expects on his desk the next morning.

Here's where a customer service mindset may lead you:

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