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Food for thought on customer service

Customer service is a hot button these days (did you DC-area folks see JetBlue’s giant mea culpa in the Washington Post the other day?).

You might be interested in checking out two interesting blog posts on the subject:

Seth Godin diagnoses what he thinks is wrong in customer service today and proposes some changes.

Seht also points to Joel Spolsky’s blog, where he writes on the seven steps to remarkable customer service. My favorite section is actually bonus step #8: creating a customer service career path that attracts the best and brightest applicants to spend several years in customer service on their way to their longer-term career goals.

Enjoy!

ETA: David Gammel also found Joel Spolsky's post to be of interest, and has some good comments of his own.

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Comments

I saw JetBlue's apology and heard it... many times.

It was probably overkill, but in the case of customer service, I think overkill is far, far better than understated.

I am not directly on the front lines with customer service, but I do work with members everyday as well as other staff (and sometimes have to tell both groups "no.")

When I need to put on my customer service hat, I find the best thing to do is put myself in the other person's shoes. Figure out what they really need (which isn't always what they ask for), and make sure they get it. Customer service is a fine dance--you need to anticipate your partner's moves and make sure you are there to catch him or her; not step on toes.

That's a helpful perspective for me, Caron--thank you!

(Note for everyone else: I used to work with Caron, and believe me when I tell you she's one of the most talented customer-service people I've ever known. Her official job was in communications, but every time she interacted with members they came away with a positive impression, no matter how negative they were to start with. I was always amazed by how well she handled those situations.)

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