As almost any customer can testify, not all customer service is the same. There is a wide variety of customer service out there and many levels of customer service available.
Therefore it is important to distinguish between the types of customer service. Entrepreneurs definitely need to learn the different types of customer service so they can decide what kind of customer service they want to provide.
Different Types or Levels of Customer Service
- High level or luxury customer service. This is customer service at a very level. It is usually only available at five-star hotels, top restaurants, and fancy department stores because of the high cost involved. Generally, this kind of customer service involves professionals to each customer or small groups of customers.
- One on one customer service. In this kind of customer service, each customer has a customer service professional to meet their needs. It is very rare because of the expensive involved.
- Tip based customer service. In this kind of customer service which is common in the United States and Europe, customers pay employees directly for extra customer service. The payment is in the form of a cash tip. Most customer service in restaurants, hotels, taxi cabs, bars, casinos and similar establishments is on a tip basis.
- Basic customer service. This is the level of service customers have come to expect from a business. For example, most motorists now expect to pump their own gasoline. This would be basic customer service.
- Better than average customer service. This is a level of customer service slightly above the industry norm. It often comes as pleasant surprise to customers an example of this would be a fast food restaurant with table service.
- Helpful employees. This is often found at retail stores in this kind of customer service, employees doing another job are positioned in such a way as to help customers. For example, a person stocking shelves could direct a customer to a product. Or carry a customer’s purchase to the car.
- Bare minimum customer service. This is often found in discount stores or other establishments which try to provide as little customer service to keep costs low. Examples of this would be customers bagging their own groceries and using the self check out lines.
- Customer relationship management. This is a kind of customer service where a business tries to build a long-term relationship with customers. It is very common in the auto business and other industries that involve large purchases. Usually, this customer service is based on a specialist who handles all relations with customers. All contact between the customer and the business is through this individual.
- Unrealistic customer service. This occurs when either the customer or the business has unrealistic expectations of what customer service can do. An example of this would be customer service employees making promises they know they can’t keep. The popular motto “the customer is always right” is a perfect example of this delusion.
- Realistic customer service. In this state of affairs, the business or customers do not promise more than they deliver. Instead, they work hard and try to deliver more. That way if their delivery exceeds their promises they look good and the customer is pleasantly surprised.