What Is Your Customer Service Definition For Success?

Customer service definitions can vary from business to another, and the definition for success will depend on the needs and expectations of your customers. The customer should always be the primary measurement for success as it is their support or lack of support that will determine the future of the business. 

Simply put, the quality of customer service that is provided by an organization is ultimately determined by the customer. The customer's perception is the only perception that counts when it comes to quality of the customer experience delivered by your team. 

customer service definition

Smart business leaders welcome customer feedback of all forms. In fact, it is the negative feedback that can provide the most critical input. By knowing what's not working well, leaders can focus on improving service standards and increase the level of customer retention.

During each interaction with our business, the customer will define their experience in their mind as either positive or negative. When it relates to customer service, there is no such thing as “neutral”. Neutral is just another way of saying “indifferent”, and being indifferent to your customers qualifies as a negative.

The customer service definition chosen for your business should support the notion there is no middle ground when it comes to taking care of your customers. Every time you or a member of your team have contact with a client, that interaction is either going to result in a HIT or a MISS.

Your customer service definition will guide your team as they work to deliver and improve upon the customer experience. Before adopting a customer service definition for your business, be sure to ask for your customer's input on how they define it. This will ensure you don't miss the mark.

"89% of companies now expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience."

- Gartner Research

Make customer service a sacred part of your organization's mission statement. Refer to your customer service statement when making any important decision for your company. Ask the ultimate qualifying question:

“How will our customers react, and will they find value in what we are about to do?”

The answer to the above question will keep your team focused on their "North Star" - taking excellent care of the customer, which is the primary goal of every great business. 

Creating Your Customer Service Definition

In an earlier Leadership-Tools article, we provided 5 quick steps to Creating A Customer Service Slogan | What Is Your Team Battle-Cry? . Use that same process when creating your customer service definition. Just make sure you include customer feedback as a major input to the process. Remember, it's not so important what you believe great customer service to look and feel like, it's the customer who is the ultimate decision maker. 

Examples of Customer Service Definitions: 

  • “Customer service is every encounter between a customer and a business that results in a negative or positive perception by the customer.”
  • ”Excellent customer service is evidenced by a customer experience that creates a postive feeling in the customer.”

Looking at this question from a broader viewpoint, consider this definition of customer service:

  • Excellent Customer Service = An Excellent Customer Experience = Higher Customer Retention and Increasing Company Profits.

And not surprising, the opposite is true:

  • Bad Customer Service = A Bad Customer Experience = Lower Customer Retention and Decreasing Profits.

Take your time in creating your company's definition of customer service. Work with your team and your customers to ensure that your customer service definition meets the expectations of everyone involved. 

Finally, track your progress. Everyone in your business is responsible for ensuring customers are receiving the best possible customer experience. 

"Customer service is what sets the good companies apart from the bad companies. Think of it as an added value. In today’s competitive industry, everyone can provide the best product, but not a great customer service."

- Charles Vallena

Additional Customer Service Resources

Training dollars always seem to be in limited supply but the good news is that you can find some great customer service training resources online for little to no cost. 

One customer service resource we found during our research is Canity.com. They provide a full library of quality service related video training that is fee-based, which may or may not work within your budget. Before investing in their full library, check out the videos they provide for free on their Canity YouTube Channel

Another set of customer service videos are provided Salesforce, Inc. Salesforce is a major player in the world of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, which is outside the reach of most smaller businesses. However, they provide great content that you can use in your team meetings, and certainly during the process of creating your team's customer service definition. For example, watch these three 2 minute videos to get your team's creative juices flowing. 

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By Richard Gorham
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