How can you offer great customer service?

by | Sep 15, 2016 | Uncategorised

Easily! Especially with a few Key Steps

I was recently reminded that customer service is not just about getting service ‘right’. It is just as critical to handle it well when things go wrong (and at some point – no matter how good your service is – you’re likely to have some problems). The way you resolve customer complaints and deal with angry customers can determine whether you lose the customer or they become your raving fan.

Let me give you a great example… After my graduation ceremony a few years ago, eight of us went to have a dinner celebration at a restaurant called FUMO in Pretoria. If you haven’t been, I definitely recommend that you go and support them ( | 012 346 0916)! Our evening started well with the passionate owner (David Lamberti) coming up to personally explain the specials and guaranteeing that he would do everything he could to make our evening a great one. The atmosphere was super, the waiter attentive and everything was going well until our food took over 40 minutes to start arriving, then it arrived in drips and drabs and some was cold and had to go back. Needless-to-say, we were an unhappy table! Eventually we all received our meals and – albeit it at different times – enjoyed them… and I must say that the food was outstanding when it finally arrived warm.

When we finished eating, David came over to apologise again for all the inconvenience and brought three desserts with him for us to sample and asked if we wanted coffees and said it was on him… I thought he meant the desserts and coffees (and was pleased he had made an effort to make amends). But when it came time to call for the bill, he wouldn’t let us pay for ANYTHING. We all protested saying that the meals were good (some of us were even taking doggy bags) and he had more than made up by his huge apology and free desserts and coffees. But he wouldn’t hear of us paying no matter how hard we tried. He insisted that everything was on him as it was the least he could do to show us that he seriously wants us to come back and that blunders like this evening are not acceptable and usually unheard of! His attitude was outstanding. Let’s take Key Steps this week and learn from David how we can

Turn angry customers into raving fans

  1. Really listen and let the customer vent (make sure you don’t get defensive or interrupt)
  2. Sincerely apologise (remember not to say, “I’m really sorry but…” excuses kill the apology)
  3. Thank the customer for bringing the problem to your attention (it’s an opportunity for you to learn)
  4. Fix the problem (make a peace offering if necessary – a free coffee or delivery goes a long way)
  5. Give the customer feedback explaining how you have resolved the problem and taken precautions to make sure it doesn’t happen again
  6. Book yourself or your team on our Captivate Your Customer workshop on 13 & 14 October and we’ll show you how you can… 

“be the difference that makes the difference

To learn how to overcome difficult times, set objectives, move your life forward and create the life you deserve, contact Tiffany and book one of our public workshops.




NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free bi-weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.

Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, EQ Expert, Founder and CEO

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 25 years’ experience in leadership development and organisational transformation. Her PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that was published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of numerous business schools and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. In 2020, Sharon was inducted into the Educators Hall of Fame, which is a lifetime achievement award, recognising excellence and her contribution to the field.

Sharon is one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – the Oscar of the speaking industry. She is also a COMENSA Master Practitioner (CMP), a qualified Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT™) and an accredited Global Virtual Speaker. Sharon is also a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner.

Most important to Sharon is that she has become known for her genuinely caring manner, practical and transformational approach, and for providing valuable tools and that allow people to take Key Steps to really… ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’