What is the Definition of Service?

Jan 26, 2012

A Forbes Magazine article recently gave the University of Colorado Cancer Center as an example of good customer service. I’m gonna tell you some of the things it mentioned. Then see if you can identify what all have in common.

Doctors give patients their e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers. Employees listen to patients’ concerns and apologize if they run late for an appointment. The center sends surveys to ask patients about their experience. Patients who respond get a personalized e-mail follow-up.

Now, what do all those actions have in common? E-mail addresses and phone numbers. Listening. Apologizing. Sending surveys. Then e-mails.

Okay, if you said they all are about communications . . . about communicating . . . you win. And that . . . communicating . . .  is the essence of customer service.

Tending patients. Even curing cancer is not about customer service. Those are the center’s products. Their customer service is all about how the center communicates with patients and their families.

It’s the same in every business. If you want to improve your customer service, it’s quite easy. Find more ways, better ways, more meaningful ways to communicate with your customers.

The very definition of customer service is customer communications.  


John Malmo is a marketing consultant who concentrates on helping business owners grow their businesses with effective marketing. To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or to ask him your own marketing question, go to http://askmalmo.com.