Monday, November 30, 2009

The Many C’s of Customer Service

Many years ago, I worked in one of the largest shopping malls in Dubai, the Deira City Center in charge of their newly formed Customer Service department. This was a unique job in that none of the malls in Dubai had a Customer Service department. Ours was the first to set one up and to offer a wide-array of services including simple things like gift wrapping, selling postcards and stamps and setting up customer service kiosks to answer any questions the mall customers might have. It was my job to hire and train the staff and work with the design team and architects to create the booths. Needless to say, it was challenging at the very least, and exciting at the same time. But thanks to this, Deira City Center suddenly became an ‘example mall’ which the other centers soon learnt to imitate.

From Dubai, I moved to Cyprus and it was a great shock to learn that the town of Limassol not only had no mall, but didn’t understand the term ‘customer service’. While I have a lot of happy memories of sandy beaches and blue, calm waters, I also recall a number of frustrating moments where I had to deal with appalling service and a galling lack of customer care.

When dealing with clients, you can’t laugh off poor service. And you don’t get second chances. Even if you have a sound business plan and a list of clients lining up at the door, you can’t afford to offer anything but the best when it comes to your services. Having read countless books on customer service and been in the field for a number of years, there are a few points I believe any provider offering a service should follow.

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