BYU Manager’s Toolbox
A service ethic should permeate every part of BYU’s activities—from the admissions process through the curriculum and
extracurricular experiences to the moment of graduation. This ethic should also permeate each student’s heart, leading
him or her to the ultimate wellspring of charity—the love for others that Christ bestows on his followers.
– BYU Mission & Aims
Who are your customers? they were poorly treated.
We all have customers. It’s easy to identify Generally, we feel like we’re being treated
your customers if you work in the bookstore or well when there is a sense of equity in a relation-
in a restaurant. If you lead a department or man- ship. Customers give you their time and money
age budgets, identifying your customers may be and expect something of equal value in return.
more difficult —but they’re there. When they don’t get the value they’re looking for,
Your customers are the people you serve— it causes them to withdraw from the relationship.
the people who benefit from or use your work. On the other hand, when there is inequity
Your customer can be the person who buys your in a relationship in the customer’s favor, it tends
product, a co-worker, or even your supervisor. to increase loyalty. A local bakery gives everyone
When you think about it that way, you will prob- Why do customers leave?
ably realize that you have more customers than
you initially thought. 15% Found better quality product
15% Found a cheaper product
What Your Customers Want 20% Lack of contact or individual
People, and especially customers, want to 49% Dissatisfied with contact from
be treated well. A Forum Corporation study indi- company personnel
cates that 69% of customers will stop doing busi-
ness with a business or organization, not because –Forum Corporation Study
of product quality or cost, but because they feel
BYU Manager’s Toolbox
who comes in the store a free slice of bread with You will be fulfilling your job responsibilities, con-
butter. It is delicious and it is offered to you tributing to the mission of the university, and will
regardless of how much you purchase. As a cus- be a good representative for BYU and the Church.
tomer, you feel like you win the lottery every time
you go in the store, and you keep going back. Create a Positive Environment
BYU has its own acronym to help remind
How can you give your customers a slice people in service positions, and non-service po-
of buttered bread? sitions, how they can create a positive environ-
A customer’s perception of value does not ment for their customers. It is called I AM BYU.
only come from the product or service you offer, Immediately acknowledge the customer.
but also in the way it is offered. According to a • Smile and greet customers within ten seconds of
PDI study on what customers value, the top six their entering your area.
service features that customers value are: • If you can’t immediately serve them, tell them
you will be with them soon.
1. Attention Anticipate their needs and have resources ready and
2. Respect user-friendly.
3. Speed • Think like your customers: have the most need-
4. Quality ed items handy and user-friendly.
5. Innovation • Know ready answers to their Frequently Asked
6. Reliability Questions (FAQ).
Meet and exceed their expectations.
Regardless of your role or the service you
• Go the extra mile. If you can’t serve their needs,
provide, you should attempt to incorporate
connect them with whoever can.
these six features in the service you deliver. • Delight them by going beyond what they would
expect you to do.
Customer Service at BYU Be friendly. Smile and use their name.
• Be warm and friendly. Smile, make eye contact,
Customer Service in a university environ-
and have positive body language.
ment is unique. Students, faculty, and staff often
• Try to use their name at least twice.
have no choice but to use the services provided on
Find a way to say “Yes.”
campus. This is particularly true in the academic • Ask them what would make them happy.
services. If you are not worried about losing your • Give them options and things you can say “yes”
customers, why is customer service important? to and let them choose.
Delivering good customer service will increase Always say, “Thank U.”
your job satisfaction and will increase others’ per- • Always say “thank you” and invite them to re-
ception of you as a competent, capable individual. turn. Reinforce their positive perception.
BYU Manager’s Toolbox
Handling Difficult Customers Handling Problems and Complaints
Occasionally, you will encounter a “difficult No matter how well you run your opera-
customer.” You may or may not have upset the tion, you will encounter customers with unique
person, but you are still the one who needs to requests, problems, and complaints. The best
manage the situation. Keep two things in mind. way for handling these instances is by building a
First, the customer is most likely upset with the portfolio of customer service solutions that can
situation, not with you personally. Second, put be used by anyone on your team in whatever cir-
yourself in the customer’s shoes. Would you be cumstance that arises.
upset if you were in the same position? Empower your people to use their judg-
The following acronym LAST will help you ment of the situation so they are able to prompt-
through some challenging situations and hope- ly and effectively solve customer problems. For
fully help you turn a difficult customer into a loyal example, in a food service environment you may
customer. empower your people to give full refunds, gift
Sometimes upset customers just want certificates, rain checks, etc., in the event they
to be understood. By actively listening need to remedy a customer service mishap.
to the customer’s concern you will not See customer service problems as oppor-
only gather information on how to help tunities. Studies by Len Schlesinger of Harvard
the person, but you may also diffuse the University show that if a problem is resolved suc-
customer’s frustration. cessfully, the customer will be even more loyal
than if the problem never occurred.
Apologize if your organization made
a mistake. If you didn’t, find a way to Things to Do
recognize the customer’s frustrations by • Identify your customers and what they want
saying, “You must be upset” or “I can see from you.
how you would be frustrated.” Do not • Create a positive customer service environ-
claim responsibility for the problem un- ment. Ask your customers what they like
less it really is your problem. And what- and what you can improve, then do it.
ever you do, never say uncomplimentary • Empower your people with the tools to
things about your organization or argue solve problems and to manage difficult cus-
with the customer. tomers. Anticipate the problems your team
might encounter, provide them with appro-
Present options for making the situa- priate tools, then give them the freedom to
tion right and let the customer choose make on-the-spot decisions to resolve prob-
the solution that best meets his or her lems or handle complaints.
needs. When the problem is solved, ask
the customer if he or she is satisfied with Bottom Line
the solution. You, your customers, and your organization
will benefit from an increased focus on provid-
Thank the customer for their time, ing exceptional customer service.
patience, understanding, or even for
simply raising an important issue. Then,
encourage the customer to come back.