Joel On Customer Service

Joel Spolsky has written a brilliant eight-step guide to remarkable customer service. The level of assistance provided by his company, Fog Creek Software, might seem alien to us because it is grounded in a philosophy that puts people above profits, to the benefit of both.

Joel’s paraphrased steps:

    1. Fix the problem and make sure it never happens again.
    2. Treat your customers like respectable humans.
    3. Provide superior service that forces your customers to love you.
    4. Take the blame.
    5. Apologies are uncomfortable, but priceless.
    6. Don’t take complaints personally; stay focused on finding a solution.
    7. Put people above profits.
    8. Give CSRs a meaningful career path.

The end result is remarkable service. “I’m using the word remarkable literally — the goal is to provide customer service so good that people remark.”

Joel illustrates his steps with several wonderful stories. They should serve as a guide to any corporation that wishes we would just go away. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

Seven Steps to Remarkable Customer Service [Joel on Software]
(Photo: James Duncan Davidson/O’Reilly Media)