“You need to deliver outstanding customer service or die,” said Barry Moltz at GrowSmartBiz.* His point: that new consumer attitudes in the wake of the economic downturn, coupled with changes in technology and “faux personalization” (think Amazon) are forcing companies to differentiate more than ever based on how we interact with our clients, customers, and prospects.

Moltz’s presentation focused on six key steps that businesses can take to put in place customer-service-focused operations:

1. Bust the myths (e.g., that the customer is always right, that unhappy customers are a part of doing business, that price is the only deciding factor, and more).

2. Tackle the blockers (i.e., recognize the challenges and put in place smart strategies to address them).

3. Define customer service (don’t ask “How can I help y0u?” but instead “How can I make your day better?”).

4. Quantify the value of customer service (including the revenue a customer brings in and when it comes it, the cost of that customer, the cost of retention, referrals and buzz, and the customer’s brand).

5. Create a customer manifesto.

6. Get feedback.

Regarding feedback, Moltz suggested that you only need to ask four questions: (1) Why did you choose to do business with us? (2) Did anyone do a particularly good job or bad job of servicing you? (3) Do you plan to use us in the future? and (4) Can you tell us any friends or associates who may be interested in using our service?

Anything you would add?

*Disclosure: Comped admission; but choice to blog and what to write about are all me.

Photo by Shashi Bellamkonda, Social Media Swami, Network Solutions (Flickr).