Remembering the Basics

Service is an area where a business can clearly set itself apart from the competition -- even in aviation … especially in aviation. By providing truly exceptional customer service to customers, organizations are realizing that they can increase their value in the eyes of those customers.

There are now metrics and complicated standard operating procedures to measure and ensure the best possible service. But, in the words of Leonardo DaVinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” It is a good time to revisit the basics -- what brought us to where we are today.

Customer service has been a formal cornerstone of competitiveness for well over 30 years. Though the nuances of how customer service may be delivered across international borders or in different industries may vary, the foundational principles and ideas that underlie excellent service remain the same.  And though we know it when we receive it, good customer service is sometimes difficult to define.

Over the past 10 years in workshops and seminars, ServiceElements has asked several thousand participants in the U.S. and around the world to list some common attributes of excellent customer service as they have experienced it. Below is a list of the top attributes of excellent customer service*:

  • Positive attitude
  • Well-mannered, attentive & friendly
  • Provide answers or finds the answers, but doesn’t make excuses
  • Consistency
  • Flexibility
  • Sincerity
  • Good communication; keeps the customer informed
  • Personable
  • Quick response to questions or requests
  • *(Martinez, Mario, and Bob Hobbi. Building A Customer Service Culture: The 7 ServiceElements of Customer Sucess. Charlotte: Information Age, 2008.)