In writing about a BusinessWeek article called 'Customer Service Champs', marketing guru Tom Asacker adds his spin on what makes customer service great (link here).
Some of them sound familiar to me from the Association Meetings' Feb. cover story on what we must change about association meetings, such as making sure you're keeping up with what non-related organizations are doing in the marketplace. As Tom points out, "For example, when people get accustomed to one-click shopping at Amazon.com, they come to expect that same type of speed and convenience everywhere," including, I would add, your registration Web site.
Another of Tom's gems is about developing emphathy: "Simply ask yourself, "How would I feel if . . ." and then make sure to strategically focus on that feeling. If you really don't know how you'd feel if . . . , then put yourself in that exact situation and find out," he writes. Think about that the next time an attendee comes up to you with a complaint. Do you really know how they're feeling about whatever the problem may be? The example Tom gives about computer support is a great way to think about how to help them save face on those dumb requests. Honesty, along with communication, and humor also go a long toward keeping satisfaction levels high.
Go ahead and read Tom's post. It's a keeper.