Is the Art of Customer Service Dead?

Yes, that’s right – I said Art.  Over the years, I have learned that rock-solid customer service is absolutely the most critical element of any business - and, if done right, it is an art.

I felt compelled to write this post after my recent experience with two different lumber yards. I will not name names, but I must tell you, I was very disappointed with the service I received from both of them. And guess what, I won't be calling them again.

All I wanted was a quote on two doors and some hardware.  That’s it!  Between the two lumber yards I was given an incorrect quote, was handed off to different people, received an auto-generated response to my online inquiry, and could not get either of them to call me back after leaving numerous messages.

Liza Jane Interiors is all about delivering quality customer service.  It is by far the most valuable asset I bring to my clients.  All business owners worry about ways to increase sales and decrease costs.  Providing superior customer service is the single most effective way to boost sales and foster repeat business.  Quality service guarantees success and it all starts by having your client’s best interest at heart. 

What defines quality customer service?

  • Being pleasant and courteous. This conveys professionalism.

  • Being Responsive. When the phone rings, pick it up.

  • Being Prepared. Having the right tools and procedures in place creates efficiency.

  • Communicating clearly & frequently. Keeping your customers informed along the way prevents unhappy surprises.

  • Being proactive, not reactive. If there is a problem, how will you handle it?

  • Genuine Desire. A strong and genuine desire to help your clients.

  • Exceeding Expectations. Go above and beyond - every time.

We all have experienced poor customer service.  And, what happens when people are not happy with a company and the service they have received? They typically tell someone about it.  Bad news travels fast and nobody raves about average. Warren Buffet, my business hero, once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.  If you think about that, you will do things differently.”  My mantra for sure. 

Here are my top reasons for providing rock-star customer service:

1.        It Builds Trust

Once I have built trust with a client, they are loyal for life.  Liza Jane Interiors has some amazing repeat clients who come back to us every time they are in need of additional design services.  Happy clients feel good referring their friends and family to our firm.

2.        It Matters More Than Price

To get the right experience, Liza Jane Interiors clients are willing to pay more.  They know we will take care of their every need.  They don’t have to worry. 

3.        It Reduces Problems/Worry

Because Liza Jane Interiors takes the time to listen and respond to a client’s needs and wants accordingly, the execution of each design job is done is such a manner that we avoid costly mistakes.  By communicating the ideas/vision thoroughly with each client, we avoid potential mistakes.  All part of quality client service.

4.        It Conveys Values and Beliefs in Our Mission

Taking care of clients conveys to them we have a strong set of values and belief in our company’s mission.  It shows our clients that the necessity for profits does not come at the expense of quality client service.  Rather, it reveals to clients our desire to help them realize their dreams, to create something beautiful for them and to build something of value.

I recently read that 89% of consumers stop doing business with a company after a negative customer experience.  That, my friends, is a whole lot of business that is going elsewhere.  Every time I receive poor service, I am reminded of why I practice the “Art” of Customer Service.

So what is your definition of excellent customer service?  Would love to hear about some of your experiences.

For you book lovers, here are a few of my favorites on customer service.