Why Great Customer Service Is Important

The importance of customer service. (Photo: Thinkstock)
The importance of customer service.
(Photo: Thinkstock)

Q: I was in a high-end specialty store recently and I could not believe how poorly I was treated. The staff acted as if I was doing them a favor by coming into their store and that they had better things to do than help me. I don’t understand how a business like that stays in business. –Theresa

A: My brother once made a statement that is apropos of this sort of thinking, which does seem oddly frequent in some specialty retailers: “I should not be thanking themafter I check out, they should be thanking me.”

The good news of course is that most small businesses are the opposite of this. Indeed, the one true advantage that a small business has over its better financed, bigger rivals is that we can in fact be more personal and personable. People like to frequent small business because of that first word – small. To bastardize E.F. Schumacher, small is beautiful.

A few years ago, I needed to get a new tax professional. The one I had had moved away and I thereafter began to do my own taxes. Given my legal background, I figured it wouldn’t be that tough.

I was right . . . until I was wrong.

It was two years ago at around 11:15 pm on April 14, when I realized that my business had long since outgrown my limited abilities and that I needed to have an expert handle these things. So I filed an extension and began interviewing tax professionals the next day.

The first few I met were fine, no big deal, but no one I would hire.

And then I met David. He was so unlike the other tax professionals I had just met. Yes, he was smart and knew his stuff, but more than that, he made me feel comfortable. He was easy to talk to, he cracked some jokes, and he explained things in such a direct, easy, assured way that I felt like I would be in great hands if I hired him.

It turns out I was right.

Not only were my taxes done professionally, but just as importantly, he made the process stress-free (or at least as stress-free as it could be given we were talking about money, the IRS, and so forth). David has what the medical profession calls ‘a great bedside manner.’

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Source: USA Today | Steve Strauss

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