Customer Service: Be This First

I have often wondered how some people make you feel so good when you work with them. While when you work with other people, it feels like you are pulling teeth to get what you need. I’m reading the book The Science of Customer Service by Mark Colgate, and he’s given me a framework that may be the answer.

Reliability, Responsiveness, and Relationship

In this book, the author explains that the companies or professionals that we want to work with have the characteristics of reliability, responsiveness, and relationship.


Reliability is the essential foundation of excellent customer service. The author explains that if a company doesn’t reliably deliver results, you don’t want to shop there. If your cable company has channels that keep cutting out, or your mechanic can’t figure out the right solution, you will change vendors. If you sometimes get a good haircut but sometimes get a bad haircut, you will never return to that barber. You want to know that every time you go to a shop, you’ll get the service that you expect.

They say that a brand is a promise that your company makes. Reliability is living up to that promise every time. And reliably living up to your promise, is the first requirement for good customer service. If you aren’t reliable, then people won’t keep coming back.

The first step is to be reliable.

The Science of Service: The Proven Formula to Drive Customer Loyalty and Stand Out from the Crowd, Mark Colgate