How do you define customer service? On Wikipedia it is defined this way:

“Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during, and after a purchase. The perception of success of such interactions is dependent on employees “who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest”. Customer service concerns the priority an organization assigns to customer service relative to components such as product innovation and pricing. In this sense, an organization that values good customer service may spend more money on training employees than the average organization or may proactively interview customers for feedback.”

There are several aspects of this definition that I find intriguing. First, the phrase “the perception of success.” This bit of wordsmanship makes me realize that perception is the only reality that matters. An employee may believe that they are providing superlative service, but if the customer does not somehow feel that effort coming through, they will leave feeling less than 100% satisfied.

The second phrase I find interesting is that this perception of success is dependent on employees “who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest.” Take for instance the server at a restaurant. Can they pick up on the needs and wants of the person(s) they are waiting on? Does the table want a little banter, a friendly display of personality, or just a straight up interaction where speed and efficiency is the only thing they value? It is up to the server to decide in just a short time, what kind of an adjustment is necessary.

A good mystery shopping program can deliver data on your employees to determine just how their service is perceived…because this is the only reality that counts.

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