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How To Provide Quality Customer Service - It's Free!

Mar 24, 2008
Having lived in America for a number of years and having visited Canada a number of times I have developed a taste for the finer things in life: big houses, large portions and excellent customer service. As is human nature I could not recognise how bad the levels of customer service in the UK are until I came back to my beloved homeland. I have to admit that I find the lack of friendliness and helpfulness of my compatriots slightly embarrassing.

Friends that come to visit me from across the pond always comment that the people that serve them there drinks or their food are far less inviting and welcoming than their American counterparts. I for one think this is a shame. I have to admit that the Americans probably take it a little too far and I do occasionally feel that the friendliness that I experience there is a little too much but nevertheless I do think we could reach a happy medium by offering good customer service without the cheese. So how can you improve the service that your team offer?


The first and most fundamental aspect of good customer service is utilising those wonderful manners that your mother taught you. Showing good manners is a very simple thing that can make a substantial difference to the satisfaction of your customers. It is very easy to use good manners and they can be taught to anyone. A simple please or thank you can be all the difference to a customer yet often these simple phrases are lacking.

It has to be said that these are the basics and they do not make for a good level of customer service. But get your manners right and you will immediately see an increase in the levels of satisfaction that your customers show. This can be measurable in the levels of tips that your staff receive or an increase in the number of repeat customers that you receive.


Demonstrating that you care about your customers can be a challenge. It is very difficult to fake. So if you don't care about your customers then you are likely to suffer. As a result it pays to make an effort and show your customers that you care about them and their custom. This can be done by telling them and showing them through your actions. A restaurant may thank them for coming or offer them a complimentary side dish. These kinds of gestures go an extremely long way.

Willingness to serve

I think this is where the Brits really fall short. Having and demonstrating a willingness to serve is extremely uncommon amongst British waiting staff and bar staff. It does of course not mean that your employees have to doff their hats and curtsy or demonstrate overblown levels of obeisance. It simply means that your staff have to want to be doing what they are doing. We all know when someone resents doing something for us and there is nothing more off putting than if your surly waiter quite clearly wants to be doing something else. The best way of making sure this doesn't happen is by making sure your staff are well motivated. Whether this be by paying them well or rewarding them for their hard work.

Provide a quality service

The bottom line is that to offer a truly exceptional level of customer service you need to provide a high quality service or product. If you are selling a product you need to make sure that the product is worth the money that the customer is paying for it and if you are providing a service you also need to be sure that the service that you offer is done well and worth the agreed price. If you can't do this it doesn't matter how much effort you put into getting the rest of your customer service protocol right.
About the Author
Shaun Parker is a leading expert in sales training and customer service.
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