The Four P's Drive Your Customer Service

John Krautzel
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If your company has several major competitors, the best way to differentiate yourself in a crowded market is to provide excellent customer service. Unfortunately, many customer service representatives don't have a true understanding of their role, so they are not likely to go above and beyond when resolving customer problems. If you want to give customers a great experience, teach your representatives the four P's of excellent customer service.

1. Proactive

Don't wait until a customer reports a problem to worry about delivering great customer service. Instead, be proactive about your service efforts. Use data mined from your company's point-of-sale system to send special offers to customers based on their buying habits. You don't have to give away free merchandise to improve customer satisfaction. Simply sending a coupon for a few dollars off a customer's favorite product is often enough to generate goodwill and satisfy customers right from the start. Instruct company representatives to anticipate potential problems and have solutions in place so that they can resolve issues in a few minutes instead of making customers stand in line.

2. Pain-Free

Make it easy for customers to get in touch with company representatives, ask questions and have someone solve their problems. The experience should be seamless, whether a customer is using the telephone or a mobile device to contact your company. You also need to make sure you're delivering the right information to customers at the right time in the buying process. Don't make the mistake of giving too much information at the beginning of an encounter, or you run the risk of overwhelming the customer and losing a sale.

3. Productive

The aim of providing excellent customer service is to satisfy customers and convince them to buy from you again and again. You can't do this effectively if all of your company's money and labor hours are tied up in answering questions or helping customers locate merchandise. Make sure your service initiatives are cost-effective and tied into the goals of other departments. The quality of the service you provide has a direct impact on the sales and marketing departments, so empower agents to solve problems in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. Improve efficiency by giving company representatives the tools they need to find information and resolve problems quickly.

4. Personalized

If you've been following basic customer service tips since you started your career, you know it's important to deliver a personalized experience to customers. This is much easier to do now that customer relationship management software is available to help you organize large volumes of customer data. CRM systems help representatives deliver the right information to the customer at exactly the right time, improving efficiency and increasing customer satisfaction.

Basic customer service tips still work, but you need to adhere to the four P's of customer service if you want to build loyal relationships. Remember to be proactive, deliver pain-free service, ensure that your customer service efforts are productive, and empower agents to deliver a personalized experience. All of these tactics can help improve customer service in any company.


Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at



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