As we approach Thanksgiving, I can’t stop thinking about turkey and stuffing—and all the different ways to prepare them.

Always thinking about how everything in life ties to customer service, I wondered, “What is a good recipe for customer service?” So, I’ve listed some of the essential ingredients. I’m sure you’ll have a few more to add to this list. In the meantime, this is enough to get you started. As with any good recipe, feel free to spice it up a little!

  • The Right Culture: This is where it starts. Leadership defines the customer service and CX vision for everyone to follow.
  • Good People: The people on the inside of the organization create the experience for the customers on the outside.
  • Excellent Training: As good as the people are, without the right training, they are not able to fulfill their potential role in providing amazing customer service.
  • Good Leadership Role Models: Leadership may define the vision, but they must set the example as well.
  • Good Communication: I’ve always said that communication is the cornerstone of creating a Moment of Magic® (a positive customer experience). Without it, people say, “I don’t like doing business with them. They don’t understand me.”
  • Quick Response: How quickly to you respond to a phone call, email or text matters. A fast response is a powerful confidence builder.
  • A Sense of Urgency: This can be part of a quick response, but it’s more than that. It’s the idea, throughout the entire process, that you are urgently taking care of your customers. They know you are focused on them. By the way, this doesn’t mean rushing through the experience. It’s about showing urgency in the right places.
  • Taking Responsibility: If you have good people who have been properly trained, let them do their job. This is called empowerment. The best experiences happen when employees can make decisions and take care of customers without having to ask permission at every step along the way.
  • Attention to Detail: Sometimes it’s the “little things” that count. Pay attention to details and you’ll create a better service experience and build deeper confidence with your customers.
  • Positive Attitude: Having a positive attitude won’t make up for a blunder or complaint, but it goes a long way toward making a flawed experience better.
  • Collaboration: We shouldn’t ever feel like we’re alone on a deserted island. Having colleagues and managers around you can be of great assistance when you have a question or may not be 100% sure of what to do.
  • Empathy: This is the big word of 2020. You may care about your customer, but does the customer know it? What words do you use to respond to a customer’s comments and complaints? Do your customers feel that you know not only what they want, but also how they feel? That’s empathy.
  • Knowledge: It is expected that you will have the answers—or know where to go to get the answers—to the questions your customer has.
  • A Good Sense of Humor: This isn’t about making the customer laugh—although it’s not a bad thing if you do. It’s what can help us cope when we’re dealing with difficult customers. Sometimes you just have to smile—or even laugh—when you realize just how good you have it!

Happy Thanksgiving!