by Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Expert; Keynote Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training

I get asked this question a lot. And the answer seldom changes.

What’s different about customer service today? Not too much.

What was right 20 – 30 – 50+ years ago, works today. As my mother told me, “Nancy, there is very little new today, just new people doing it.”

Ah…wait…there it is…yes, the new people. That could be part of the problem. We have new people doing customer service, but the core values have remained the same. Please – thank you and you’re welcome, are not new words. They’ve been around FOREVER. They are the gold standard in customer service.

But let’s take another topic. Let’s take something like tailoring. How has that changed? Well, if you want to be a tailor you still need a sewing machine, you still need to know how to sew, perhaps lessons, you still need thread, scissors, etc. So, what has changed? Right, it’s the folks wanting to be tailors. It’s the same with any industry, isn’t it really? I could give you industry after industry where it’s not the job that has changed; it’s the people who have changed.

So how do we fix that? Simple. We go back to basics. We bring back the gold standards of customer service. We bring back the “smile,” the warm words that start a conversation. We care.

I feel awkward even typing this.

Very little has changed about customer service today. Oh, maybe how you can complain has changed. The internet, Yelp, and more surveys. But if you bring back the gold standards, you wouldn’t need to worry about bad reviews.

It seems to me some of the companies out there don’t get it. They don’t understand that very little has changed in customer service. It doesn’t matter what channel of communication we use – email, voice mail, snail mail, phone, fax or face-to-face; it’s back to basics.

This isn’t rocket science ladies and gentlemen. You know exactly why you go back to places to shop. It’s because of how they treat you.

Same way they did years ago. Customer service hasn’t changed. It’s the people who have changed.

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Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman, customer service keynote speaker, is founder and chairman of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training and a featured speaker at franchise, association, and corporate meetings around the world. A popular TV guest, she appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, as well as hundreds of other radio, television and print outlets around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. The author of 9 books on her chosen topics, Nancy helps corporate America improve their communications with their customers & co-workers.

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