What Does Customer Service Mean To You?
I’ve been doing customer service since I was 14. Customer Service is the first “skill” I’ve learned in my career.
I’ve had various roles — most of them featured some form of customer service.
I was an assistant janitor, camp counselor, marketing assistant, a host, a stockperson, etc.
Most of my roles were extremely, extremely customer facing.
In customer facing roles, your constantly pushed to solve problems fast — or else.
Over my career, I’ve had many interviews, and eventually I have interviewers ask me “What does customer service mean to you?”
I used to give generic answers like “Listen, empathy.” Or I would say “the customer is always right.”
Those answers are cool, but commonplace. Not too memorable.
Now my answer to that question is good customer service is trying to solve the problem as quickly as efficiently as possible.
That’s what I try to achieve when interacting with customers.
Also, try to stay as calm as possible.
For example, two months into my current job at a tennis center, one of my regulars ran into the office and said, “Jamual, some of the lights are out on court 3A! What’s going on!”
I looked at him, nodded, ran to the back with the light switches. I looked at them puzzled. I’m not a handy man. I’m not maintenance. I had no idea how to fix lights — at all. So what did I do?
Messed around with the switches. Turned them off and on again.
Waited a bit.
Nothing — no lights.
Then I called my colleague who was the designated maintenance man on duty.
What did he do?
Messed around with the switches…Then went to the back…
… Till they came back on. Like Magic.
Problem was fixed within a couple minutes.
To me that’s customer service: To be able to solve a customer’s problem quickly as possible while staying calm as possible.
That’s what helped me in my career. And I believe will help me going even further in my career when faced with bigger problems.
I truly believe that.