Recently, Parature asked a group of customer service professionals from around the globe to offer their best customer service advice. From managers to CSRs, we received a fantastic variety of best advice.

In the final installment of our three-part series, we’ll share insights from three top customer service and customer experience thought leaders: Shep Hyken, Kate Nasser and Bill Quiseng:

Shep Hyken on Creating Wow Moments through Proactive Customer Service
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” ~ Milton Berle

Here is an idea that will give you the opportunity to look like a star. You’ve heard of a Customer Service department. How about a Proactive Service department?

This idea is not really new. Companies and people have been doing this all along. It may not be an official department. As a matter of fact, it is common sense. Here are several examples of what I am referring to:

The waiter who fills a customer’s water glass before the customer has to ask.

The shipping department that follows up with a customer to insure the package arrived. If it didn’t arrive, they start the tracking process or reship the package.

The salesperson that sells a VCR to a customer and calls the customer the next day to make sure he/she was able to connect it to their television. If the customer couldn’t, the salesperson walks the customer through the process, step by step.

As mentioned above, the idea of proactive service is not new. But a formal process to provide this type of “thinking ahead” is not usually the norm. It is usually an individual’s effort, within a company, that provides this level of service.

Proactive service is an opportunity to show how good you are. A customer decides to do business with you because they trust you enough to deliver “the goods.” Proactive service reinforces the decision the customer made. It helps to build respect and loyalty. Why leave this powerful concept to chance. Make it a normal procedure as part of the sales and follow-up process and watch your customers say, “Wow!”

Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a customer service expert, New York Times bestselling author and a Hall of Fame professional speaker. Shep helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees. For more information on Shep’s speaking programs and books, please contact (314) 692-2200. Email: [email protected] Web: www.hyken.com. For information on customer service training, go to www.TheCustomerFocus.com.

Kate Nasser on Valuing the Perspective of the Customer
Kate advises leaders to remember that customers judge every single interaction from their perspective. Be transparent and assess success from the outside in — not the inside out. This builds trust and loyalty.

Says Kate in a recent blog post, “Sales and customer service leaders create super customer experience possibilities when they pave the customer’s road with transparency. Poor communication, hidden built in charges, surprise required purchases at the end of the sales cycle risk the sale and damage trust and the brand.”

Read Kate’s entire post, Super Customer Experience on the Road of Transparency, with more best customer service advice: click here.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See KateNasser.com for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

Bill Quiseng’s Top 10 Customer Service Mantras
1. Nobody raves about average.

2. If your business cannot pledge “Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back,” something is broken. Fix it.

3. No customer walks into your business, gives you money and then says, “Dissatisfy me, please.” Aim for 100% customer satisfaction.

4. Delivering good customer service is business common sense. Your job is to make it common practice.

5. You cannot even begin to satisfy customers until you remove all the potential dissatisfiers.

6. Great Service is Great Theater. Your customer service role today: Act it like you mean it even if you don’t feel like it.

7. To really “wow” your customers, get rid of the fine print.

8. To connect with new customers don’t try to get inside their heads. Get inside their hearts. Create an emotional connection.

9. It’s not the one big WOW to one customer that wins the day. It is the one little WOW delivered consistently to every customer.

10. Thinking about customer service doesn’t make it happen; delivering it does. Customer service is not an attitude; it’s action.

Bill Quiseng is a blogger and award-winning writer in the areas of customer service for front-line associates and customer service leadership for managers. See BillQuiseng.com for more customer service advice from Bill and other thought leaders.

Want more best customer service advice? Join the best customer service advice discussion in the Customer Service Champions Group on LinkedIn.