You don’t need to be a regular churchgoer to often hear one of life’s most sensible maxims:“Do unto others as you would be done by”
It is this maxim alone, more than any other that epitomizes the principle of customer service – simply provide the level of service that you yourself would be happy to receive if the roles were reversed. If you can bump it up a notch to the delight factor, even better, but preferably only go there if you can sustain it regularly, or you risk creating an expectation that cannot be sustained.
Of course, there are always exceptions in customer service. When you’ve had to recover from a mistake or a mishap and your customer is upset or angry, then you want to “go the extra mile” and create an exceptional experience to repair the upset that went before. The expectation of “going the extra mile” is a great concept in principle, but practically does not work as a mantra. Here’s why:
An extra mile at a reasonable running pace takes about 9 minutes. If you’re walking, make that 14 minutes. That’s quite a chunk of time. If your company’s mantra is to go the extra mile in addition to all the other miles that need to be done, you may well end up winning a few customer service awards. But you could also go out of business.
If all your employees are falling about themselves “going the extra mile” and being eager to
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Author: Paul du Toit
Paul du Toit has been speaking to audiences about Customer Excellence for over 20 years. Paul is the managing director of the Congruence Group based in Sandton, South Africa, which develops human capital from companies of all sizes. His Congruence e-newsletter has over 6,500 opt-in subscribers and their best selling course “Customer Relationship Skills” has been delivered to hundreds of companies over the past 21 years.