John Eklund, Pro Mach

Guy Kawasaki on the Art of Customer Service

By John Eklund, Pro Mach | Permanent Link

If you don’t know who Guy Kawasaki is you can pretty much learn everything you need to know about him from the title of his blog – “How to Change the World.” A big thinker, yes, but also very grounded. He’s one of the best business minds of this generation and he has a pretty simple philosophy on the “art” of customer service – and let’s face it, it is an art sometimes more than a science. His 10 points:

  1. Start at the top.
  2. Put the customer in control.
  3. Take responsibility for your shortcomings.
  4. Don’t point the finger.
  5. Don’t finger the pointer.
  6. Don’t be paranoid.
  7. Hire the right kind of people.
  8. Under promise and over deliver.
  9. Integrate customer service into the mainstream.
  10. Put it all together.

In his blog post he goes into detail on each of the points, so check out The Art of Customer Service. Though it was written about 3 1/2 years ago good customer service principles never go out of style.

The only point I think is really missing from the list is “Let the customer know they were heard.” This is a very important step. This doesn’t always mean answering their question super fast because the right answer can take a lot of time depending on your business and the complexity of the question itself – and it’s more important to answer correctly and thoroughly in as few steps as possible. What it does mean is acknowledging as quickly as possible to the customer that you have heard what they want and that you are working on it. Bonus points if you frame for them exactly when they can expect your full answer. Letting them know they were heard goes a long way to putting the customer in the right frame of mind.

What other points help craft your customer service “art” in your business?


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  1. Queen of the Click December 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    I am writing something about businesses and customer service in 2009 and I happen to search for Guy Kawasaki with service because I had a bit of a run in with him.

    Guy Kawasaki went into business with some small companies. One of them was SocialToo owned by Jesse Stay whose customer service was really poor this year. When I tried to talk to Guy Kawasaki, he ignored me until I mentioned something a common friend of ours told me. Guy was then intrigued and asked about the friend, not about the problem I experienced or the poor customer service.

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