That, in just one word, seems to be the essence of good customer service.
There are tons of books about measurement and strategy and management techniques. There are people who will monitor your phone logs, or do after-sale questionnaires. The car dealers have people calling folks a week later to be sure the service was good.
You could spend all your money and all your time trying to improve your customer service through one fancy technique or another.
Or you could just care. And hire people who care.
Caring goes a long way. Caring shows up in your voice and your interactions and in your policies. Caring is the difference between a simple easy form and a three-page government interrogation. Caring is the difference between treating every stranger as a potential customer instead of as a potential thief.
Have you ever been to a restaurant where they care? Or a hospital? You can tell immediately.
When I went to the cemetery a few months ago for the unveiling of my grandmother's tombstone, they were closed. On the window of the office was an 11 x 17 inch xerox copy (shrunk to a tenth of the actual size) showing the location of every plot. The copy was so small it was almost impossible to read. And the organization of the numbers was virtually random, so there was no way to find what we were looking for anyway.
They knew we were coming. There were only two ceremonies scheduled that day, yet there was no note.
My family spent an hour, in the rain, walking up and down and back and forth looking for the plot. No luck. All because no one cared.
A minute before we were about to give up, the caretaker came by and asked if we needed help. He recognized the name and took us right over. He cared. It showed. He wasn't doing this because he'd get a bonus. He was doing it because it was the right thing to do.