How Do You Provide Good Customer Service?

This week has been “Customer Service Week” all around the country, and we’ve had a few fun items in my particular workplace. A few games, relaxed dress code all week, free 10-minute chair massages and a host of other things. On Wednesday, bags of candy showed up on everyone’s desk. Though somehow I missed getting a muffin on Tuesday. No matter, I hear they were very sugary, and I don’t need that.

My sister works for a zoning company and just published her own take on customer service. It’s worth a read, if you have a moment, and discusses how being positive can have an impact on your relations with customers and clients.  I commented that asking questions is a good way to ensure good service, since I think most IT folks would agree that our clients don’t always know what they want. Sometimes they think they do. I have noticed that the more technically competent a person is, the more they focus on implementing a specific solution rather than solving a problem. Brent Ozar has a good post on this as well.  Usually it’s somehow related to the technology that they’re most familiar with.  Remember the expression, “When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”  I fall into this trap as well. You’d be amazed what I’ve tried to do with SQL, that had no business even involving SQL in the first place.

A lot of what I think this boils down to is our ability to listen. Not just to what the client is saying, but to the un-asked questions and concerns as well. Taking the time to ask lots of questions, and understand the complete situation not only leads to better solutions, but tends to give my customers a better feeling about where we’re going next with their particular issue or project.

How about you? What do you do to ensure that you’re providing your employer / customer / client with the best service you can?  How do you keep your customers happy?

Thanks for reading.

-David.

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