What is good customer service?

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I was on the receiving end of some truly brilliant customer service last week. The details of what happened were routine – but what was not routine was how great the person helping me made me feel. They didn’t make me feel silly for not knowing how to do something. They helped me and then said they wanted to make notes on how I’d gotten confused so that they could try to avoid it happening for someone else in the future. I came away feeling like I’d helped them – not the other way around!

I want to make more of that happen in my work for Airport Lynx customers – I want them to feel good about asking for help or giving us constructive feedback when it’s needed.

When I’m pitching our services, I always ask potential customers about their ‘pain points’ – what it is with their current supplier that has brought them to a point where they are reviewing their options? My experience is that people don’t tell me about big things – it’s usually a cumulation of small things where someone has been told “Well, that’s the way it is” – and it’s alienated them from the supplier ever since.

Feedback like this is so useful – it’s rare for us to make mistakes but when we do, I don’t want us to ever get to a point where a customer is told “That’s just the way it is…”. When there is an issue, it’s just as important to feel heard as it is to solve the problem in hand. I’m conscious that I want to finish at a point where everyone feels that the outcome is reasonable. It’s something I’ll be thinking about over the coming weeks…

On another note, I’m always uplifted to see our bookings team in action – watching them makes me realise just how incredible their customer service skills are: as a booking comes in via the phone, they take the caller’s name and use four different searches, within just a few seconds, to find ways to find them on our system. Many people call and say they’ve travelled with us before – which they have – but as a passenger in a car with someone else – and of course it’s the other person’s name who is on our records! That would take me time to process and establish – but with the bookings team, there’s no issue. They¬†take the booking and reflect details back to the customer instantly.

As I type, I’m listening to someone on the phone. They want a car for tomorrow, they don’t know exactly what time their flight but they do know that it’s from Terminal 5. They don’t have the flight number to hand. They’re in a rush. Jayne has the booking screen open, a flight screen to confirm the flight number and is checking the current flight statuses on a third tab to check that there are no changes to the usual flight times. All whilst taking the home address and new bank card details which the customer wishes to use for payment.

Similarly, when I hear Steve taking calls, he really listens to the customer and seems to ‘triage’ the information he needs from the call, before asking questions to fill in gaps. Katie puts customers at ease when they don’t have all of the details we need to hand and Claire excels at spotting ways to make journeys with multiple pick ups as streamlined as possible. Everyone has their own way of taking the bookings but there’s a commonality in the outcomes and the way that they come about – positively, helpfully and with a desire to serve. Those three things are surely at the heart of customer service? Aren’t they?

What does good customer service look and feel like for you? If you’ve read or heard of any great examples, please let us know – it’s a really important area for us and we’re keen to learn from others.

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