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Steve -- isn't it interesting that you ponder whether the person who offered you such great service may get in trouble for it? After all she did what every person representing a company should do to solve a customer's problem. I have a had similar experience recently, which I will write about next week.

Becky -- what a good way of summarizing: it all needs to come together in a customer-service organization. What we measure it important, it tells us what we value.

I think there are several elements to great customer service. Some of these elements can be taught (soft skills, customer-focused processes). Another important element is how customer service is measured. The best customer service agent can indeed be "ground to bits in the system" if they are not given the empowerment to do what is right. Finally, certain people have more of a customer service disposition. Those people seem to have what Southwest Airlines looks for in new employees: "a fun-loving attitude, warrior spirit, and a servant's heart" (from a SWA job description).

When training, metrics, and the right people come together in a customer-focused organization, service rocks!

Valeria,

I just had my first outstanding customer service experience in, literally, years.

There was a serious billing error that a rep corrected 10 days ago. She gave me her full name and direct line in case there was a future problem. There was. Her correction didn't show up on the company's "pay online" page. So I called back 10 days later and there she was.

She had the notation from our previous conversation.

She showed me how to make the correct payment and what it actually was ($531 vs. $2,183).

She also said "Don't use our website. It doesn't work. I know this is being recorded for 'quality and training' purposes...that's exactly why I am telling you this."

She was born for her role and has a servant's heart. I sincerely hope that her well-intentioned, customer-oriented remark gets her rewarded and not fired.

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