The 25 Most Important Things to Know About Service

 

The 25 Most Important Things to Know About Service

By  Jim Sullivan 

Service is difficult to define because it’s not just one thing with clear parameters and expectations. It’s as variable as a Lotto number. Yet most people would agree there are four kinds of service: bad, mediocre, good, and great. The problem with each category is that customer expectations vary and our managers and crew may not know how to be habitually consistent with great service. So this month let’s review the basics of great service-giving through a collection of classic, new, time-tested and true truths about service… 

  1. The customer is why.
  2. Good service means never having to ask for anything.
  3. Bad service happens all by itself, good service has to be managed.
  4. Good service can save a bad meal. A great meal cannot save bad service.
  5. If someone knocked on your door tomorrow morning and said “I want to pay for your mortgage, car payment, kid’s tuition, weekly groceries and next ten vacations!” How would you treat them? That’s your customer.
     
  6. Make happy those who are near and those who are far will come.  –Chinese Proverb
     
  7. If a customer has one genuine grievance do two things to resolve it.
     
  8. Customers are like spouses, if you don’t show appreciation they will go somewhere else.
     
  9. A Customer will forgive us for a higher price but they’ll never forgive us for lower quality.
     
  10. Our business is run for the enjoyment and pleasure of our customers, not for the convenience of the staff or the owners.
     
  11. A customer should never have to get out of their chair or car to do some part of our job.
     
  12. “Product expertise can be duplicated, so any competitive advantage based on products will eventually go away. But customer expertise is competitively defendable, unique and permanent.” –Martha Rogers
     
  13. Worry about being better; bigger will take of itself.
     
  14. Service is your invisible product. It’s free. Heap it on.
     
  15. A happy customer buys more.
     
  16. The most expensive thing in a restaurant is an empty chair.
     
  17. Since there’s always a lower price somewhere else, what people really buy is value.
     
  18.  “One percent improvement in 1,000 things is better than 1,000 percent improvement in one thing.”  --Tom Peters
     
  19. Different is not always better, but better is always different
     
  20. The repeat customer’s experience is always dependent on the weakest employee you allow on your team.
     
  21. Greatness is determined by service.—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
     
  22. Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
     
  23. A Customer will forgive us for a higher price but they’ll never forgive us for lower quality.
     
  24. If you’re not serving the customer directly, you’d better be serving someone who is
     
  25. Tomorrow, when you go to work if it doesn’t make the customer happy, move the business forward and make you money, then don’t do it. 

In summary: Service is simple. Simple is hard. The art of service excellence is harder to pick up than a watermelon seed on a linoleum floor. So work at it every day. “Good enough” never is.