Unit 3 Develop a Customer Friendly Approach

One commonality among all companies or organisations that provide good service is the development of a system and attitude promoting customer friendly service. By “customer friendly” we mean viewing the customer as the most important part of your job. The cliché, “The customer is always right” is derived from this customer friendly environment.

Two critical qualities to the “Customer Friendly Approach”:



The two main tasks of successful customer relations are to communicate and develop relationships. They don’t take a huge effort, but don’t happen instantaneously either. Positive dialogue/communication with your customers and developing ongoing relationships with your customers are perhaps the two most important qualities to strive for in customer service.

What Customer Service Means

As mentioned earlier, customer service means providing a quality product or service that satisfies the needs/wants of a customer and keeps them coming back. Good customer service means much more- it means continued success, increased profits, higher job satisfaction, improved company or organisation morale, better teamwork, and market expansion of services/products.

Think about places where you enjoy doing business-stores, petrol stations, suppliers, banks, etc. Why aside from the actual products or service they provide, do you like doing business with them? You probably find them courteous, timely, friendly, flexible, interested, and a series of other exemplary qualities. They not only satisfy your needs and help you in your endeavors but make you feel positive and satisfied. You come to rely on their level of service to meet your needs and wants.

On the other hand, let’s review a business you dislike patronizing maybe even hate utilizing but in some cases do so out of necessity. Maybe it is the Police when you need a new driver’s license or maybe it is the local store that carries a product you need but who offers lousy service when you purchase. In both of these cases we are willing to hypothesize that the customers experience is marred by long lines, gruff service, inefficient processing, impolite and unfriendly clerks or salespeople, lack of flexibility, and no empathy for your customer plight. In these cases you feel abused, unsatisfied, and taken advantage of- in essence, your experience is wholly negative.

Unfortunately, in the case we outlined above there is no competition for the service/products offered or you would gladly not consider using either the Ministry of Transport or the rude department store. This is the advantage of a monopoly on a good or service because in a competitive marketplace, the unsatisfied customer shops elsewhere.

Remember, good customer service results in consumer satisfaction and return customers and growth in business. Poor customer service, expect for monopolistic strongholds, generally results in consumer dissatisfaction, lack of returning customers and dwindling business.

Professional Qualities in Customer Service

Professionals who constantly deal with customers (inside and outside the company) need to strive for certain qualities to help them answer the customer’s needs.

The professional qualities of customer service to be emphasized always relate to what the customer wants. After years of polling and market research, it turns out customers are constantly internalizing their customer service experience. What this means is they are grading your customer service during each transaction but you rarely know it. While there is multitude of customers needs, five basics needs stand out:

Friendliness- the most basic and associated with courtesy and politeness.

Empathy- the customer needs to know that the service provider appreciates their wants and circumstances

Fairness- the customer wants to feel they receive adequate attention and reasonable answers

Control- the customer wants to feel his/her wants and input has influence on the outcome

Information- customers want to know about products and service but in a pertinent and time sensitive manner

It is also very important for customer service employees to have information about their products or service. Service providers who answer, “I don’t know” or “It is not my department” are automatically demeaned and demoted in the mind of the customer. These employees can end up feeling hostile as well as unequipped. Customers want information and they disrespect the person who is supposed to have information but does not.