This morning I got to work, and found a comment in my in-box. One of our subscribers to this blog had taken exception to something that happens here at Answer Guy Central.

Here’s the way things work: each time a new visitor comes here, we point out as they leave that we’re happy to stay in touch. We make that happen by having a small window pop up on their screen and offering a chance to  receive a monthly newsletter from us.

As you can see from the response I left to that comment, we view this as a business process. Writing this stuff takes time, and we want to make sure that you remember us and stay in touch. Ask anyone who writes, is a journalist, does blogging, or whatever you want to call it; we all like attention!

This post isn’t about that, though; it’s about Customer Service.

When someone visits Answer Guy Central, we treat them like a customer. That means we care what they think, and if they offer a suggestion, criticism, some comments, or give any reason at all for us to engage in customer service communications, we respond.

And when people are unhappy, giving that response isn’t always fun. OK, It never is.

At the same time, it’s important, and we learn. Believe me when I tell you that customer service is the most important activity your company engages in. And all you need to do to be good at customer service is listen, and care.

I’ve commented before that a few of the better known folks in social networking don’t actually seem to understand this. Let me give props to someone who does: Dani Shapiro, an author of books that I personally find impossible to read, answers every single person who writes to her. Ringo Starr (yes, that Ringo Starr) says that he answered all his Beatles-related fan mail until about a year ago. LOTS of it.

Is that kind of customer service hard? Is customer-service-for-all a time consuming and expensive business expense? You bet. And in today’s business environment, it’s important to growth and business success.

Treat your customers the way you want to be treated. Customer Service doesn’t have to mean giving in; bit it does mean giving.

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