Why is customer service important?​

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What is customer service?​

Good customer service typically involves:​

  • providing a timely, attentive and polite service to the customer.​
  • making sure the customer’s needs are met in a manner that reflects positively on you as an employee and the company you work for.​

Watch a video on customer service.

Why is good customer service important

  • Increased sales – you can influence sales and revenue for your company if you offer good customer service.​
  • Customer confidence – customers who have a good customer service experience are more likely to come back to your business and recommend your business to co-workers, friends and family.​
  • Enhanced public image – good customer experiences will also enhance your image and the public image of the company you work for.  ​

REMEMBER a customer can also be your manager or co-worker.

10 Ways to give good customer service

Good customer service is important for every business, whether it is a shop, an office, a warehouse or a rubbish collector. Every job has ‘customers’. A customer could be your manager, a colleague or a client who spends money for your organisation’s services or products.​

Know your product or service.  Learn about what you ‘sell’ so that you are able to positively sell it to others. ​

Maintain a positive attitude. Attitude is everything, and a positive attitude goes a long way in providing a good customer service experience.​

Creatively problem-solve. If your customer has a problem try to solve it for them if you can, otherwise politely say that you will get your manager to assist them. ​

Respond quickly. Your customer is usually the most important priority. Respond to them as quickly as possible. ​

Be friendly but professional. Customers like to be recognised and welcomed with familiarity and friendliness. Saying ‘good morning’ or ‘how can I help you today?’ will help make the customer feel welcome. ​

Help customers help themselves. If a customer says that they don’t need help or are just having a look, that is ok. Just say ‘I am here if you need me’. Sometimes customers don’t want someone ‘in their face’ or talking too much when they are browsing.​

Actively listen. Pay attention to your customer and demonstrate that you have listened by repeating what they have asked. Listen to what they have to say without pushing your own agenda or opinion. 

Keep your word. If you promise something, make sure you can do it. Don’t let your customers down. Keeping your word is about respect and trust. If you cannot deliver what you said you would it is courteous to let them know.​

Be proactively helpful. Anticipate your customers’ needs. When customers feel like you value them — they’ll keep coming back. ​

Be honest. It is okay to not know all the answers.  Your customer would prefer for you to answer honestly. Say “I am not sure of the answer to your question, I will need to check with my Manager” rather than “I don’t know”. Do not tell them incorrect information or that you can deliver by a certain time when you know you won’t be able to. 

Dealing with difficult customers

Watch two short videos on how to handle difficult customers:

  • Video: Dealing with Difficult Customers – Let Them Vent
  • Video: Customer Service Training: Never Argue

End of Module questions​

  • Where are your strengths in terms of customer service skills?​
  • In your work role, who is your customer?​
  • What products does your customer find interesting?​
  • What are some of the ways that you can manage a situation where a customer you have identified is unhappy with the product?

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