Customer Service or Customer Satisfaction?

It's been said that, "Service is what the bull does to the cow..." So, with that image in mind, how do you want your clients and customers to feel when they do business with you?
04/15/2016 12:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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It's been said that, "Service is what the bull does to the cow..." So, with that image in mind, how do you want your clients and customers to feel when they do business with you?

Customer acquisition is expensive. Existing customers are highly valuable. Data suggests that it's 25 times as expensive to win new business as it is to retain existing customers.

Customer Service has become a dirty word among the cynical. Nobody likes voice mail, automated phone systems, voice-activated menus, or taking a number at the deli. No one likes being treated like a number.

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When I was 18, I was a full time musician, which meant I also had a day job. I was a bank teller back when they still had banker's hours so I could make it to my gigs on time.

I remember the CEO of the bank coming down to talk to the new tellers on our first day on the job. He told us, "You have the most important job in the bank because you are the face of this institution. 90% of our customers will only ever see your face to do business with us." That stuck with me.

I eventually went to college, but returned four years later. Continuing to pursue music, I still needed a day job. My diploma earned me a customer service position back at the bank. But I misspoke...

One day in the breakroom, the CEO overheard me refer to myself as a customer service representative, and he very quickly interjected, "You are not a Customer Service Representative. Go look at your business card. You are a Personal Banking Representative. You are not here to service our customers. You are here to satisfy them. Your job is to solve any problem they have. You represent the bank in that capacity. And I have empowered you to think creatively and find solutions for our customers, because without them, we are out of business. And the competition is right across the street."

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This all came back to me recently. I was at a conference and one of the speakers mentioned that he doesn't employ Customer Service Associates, he employs Customer Satisfaction Associates. Change one word; it may seem subtle but turns out to be a rather huge difference.

It made me reflect on my coaching and training practice now as a business owner. I fight hard to get new clients. And I work really hard to keep them. It's not only the smart thing to do, but the right thing to do. The customer may not always be right, but being right won't matter if you don't have any customers...

Something tells me we are all in the Customer Satisfaction business. After all, nobody wants the bull...


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About the Author:

David B. Nast owns FocalPoint Business Coaching & Corporate Training based in Cherry Hill, NJ. David is an Award-Winning Certified Business Leadership Coach with over 20 years of experience in Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Corporate Training, Career Coaching, Executive Search, and Human Resources. He has coached thousands of CEOs, Business Owners and Executives.

For additional insights from David, visit his LinkedIn Pulse Author Page and follow him on Twitter @DavidBNast. You can also email David at dnast@focalpointcoaching.com.