The 3 C's of customer service

Although I work in IT I have always believed in the importance of giving good customer service to end users. I think customer service is all about managing expectations. If a person thinks the problem will be fixed in two days but you fix it in one day they will be happy. If they think you will fix it in two days but you take three days to fix it they will be unhappy. A person will think they have received good customer service if they get what they expected. You can use the 3 C's to give good customer service.

Compassion
The customer needs to know you care. It doesn't matter how much you actually care if the person doesn't know it. Express empathy for their situation. Show them that you want to help. Show them that you are on their side and that it's you and them against the problem. Let them know that you realize the problem is important to them.

Communication
Ask the person what their expectations are - don't assume. If you can't meet their expectations then reset them. Explain that you can't fix it in one day but that you will fix it in two days. If there is a delay, tell them as soon as you know. Keep setting expectations. Keep them informed in the progress. It doesn't matter how much work you are doing in the background if the person doesn't know they will assume nothing is being done. Communicate with them the way they want. If they reported the issue in the phone, communicate by phone, if they emailed you, keep in touch by email. If they are direct and to the point in their messages just give them the facts. If they are mention things not directly linked to the problem then add extra information to your communication 

Competence
People expect that you will know how to fix the problem. If you are an expert at fixing the problem - make sure they know. Let them know they are in good hands. If you don't know how, let them know but then tell them how you are going to find out how to fix it. If you mess up - fess up. If you make a mistake - tell them before they find out. And then tell them how you are going to remedy the situation. Do what you say you will - when you say you will. Keep your promises!