Finding a Balance with Customer Service

What makes great customer service? As a business professional how can you ensure that you are meeting your consumer’s needs, while also maintaining a professional boundary? Since we provide research related services to a wide-range of interested parties, these are questions Abbey Research would like to take some time to answer.

  Image Credit:  Customer Think

Image Credit: Customer Think

We all interact with service industry professionals on a day-to-day basis – from the bank teller, grocery store clerk, and computer technician – and so we all enter each interaction with an expectation for good customer service. As a consumer, we may expect each person to work overtime or out of office, make an exception to a company rule, or go above and beyond in order to solve our issue. But, are these reasonable expectations and are these actions necessary to providing good customer service?

From the business end of the equation, we all know there are certain rules that cannot be changed and if we cannot pay our employees for working out of office, can we except them to perform those tasks to keep a customer happy? In light of these difficulties, we have written up a few basic tenants to providing quality customer service.

  Image Credit:  Snag A Job

Image Credit: Snag A Job

An integral part of providing good customer service is finding a balance between meeting a customer’s specific needs or problems, while maintaining professional boundaries that are necessary to sound business practice. Here at Abbey Research we constantly advocate for the importance of clear communication – with our employees and with our clients. Direct, detailed, and open communication is the bedrock of good customer service.

Furthermore, establishing quality and long-term customer service requires consistent adherence to company policies and rules – if you make an exception for one particular customer, offering them a discounted rate on bulk orders, that you would not normally offer, then you will risk jeopardizing your future relationship not only with that customer (when they ask for that same discount and you are no longer able to offer it) but with future customers.

While it is worthwhile to consider how we would expect to be treated by businesses we frequent – we wanted this blog to emphasize the value that clear communication and consistent policies have in ensuring good customer service and professional company practice.