I was recently asked what customer service means to me. I love this question because it is not something that I answer from rote. It is the outworking of a belief system in business, ethics, personal and organizational behavior. As such, my answer may depend on recent experience, recent success (or need for improvement) stories, as well as an ongoing response to a changing culture and how to respond accordingly. Here is my recent response:
Customer service means surprising your internal and external customers with grace, acumen, professionalism, respect and simply putting the customer’s needs at a premium. It means creation, delivery and preservation of value by delivering service in a way that punctuates the mission and vision of the organization.
I believe service is underpinned with the attributes of being personal and professional, not a choice between the two.