Good customer service has one purpose, and only one purpose: to change the way a customer feels.

Your customer might be angry or upset because of prices, quality of the product, or a long wait. They might even be upset because they feel like you didn’t deliver on a promise or you didn’t get them the product they wanted on time. Sometimes changing something like a price or apologizing for a broken promise is a shortcut to making people feel better, but not always. And it’s hardly ever enough on its own.

Let’s take a well-known phone company for example. Ask any one of their customers that’s had to talk to them on the phone if you want to hear complaints about horrendous customer service. The first thing everyone complains about is that when they have a concern – say, on their bill – and they call, the company reps immediately counter any claims they have. The company never admits they did something wrong until there has been much pushing. Only those who persist – sometimes for hours, according to some reviews on their website – succeed in getting their money returned or a bill adjusted. Did this phone company save money?


Did they save customers, or gain any new ones?

Not even close.

The customer who looks for help isn’t usually looking to steal all of your money. They are looking for validation and support, and they want to fix the relationship between you and them that they liked before you made a mistake. It may seem kind of touchy-feely, and it is, but it’s also the truth. Good customer service knows how to repair that situation, even if it may cost a few dollars, and keep the customer so they keep paying. Not only that, but good customer service means that your current customer – no matter how upset they were – would recommend your company to a friend. We can all use free, happy brand ambassadors on our sides.

The cash matters much less than the connection.