The actions your dealership took a few years ago that impressed customers are viewed as mundane in today’s economy.

Coupled with the fact that all customers have unique ideas and expectations of what constitutes great customer service, achieving excellent service is like trying to hit a moving target. So how do we combat the changing times?

1. Establish a companywide customer service standard. Role-playing is an effective way to form a standard that your employees will feel comfortable with executing. Try the following:

• Ask your employees to pretend they are the customer.

• Ask them to think about their expectations.

• Have them determine what would meet or exceed those expectations.

• Ask: What is a common problem our customers face?

2. Internalize customer service processes. Practice. Practice. Practice. The best way to get your employees to embrace great customer service is through role-playing different situations. These exercises should only take a few minutes and should occur frequently, if not every day. This allows employees to internalize the process and represent the dealership to the customer in a way that’s different from your competition — a way that the employees created.

3. Empower employees to make customer service decisions. The answer to great customer service isn’t a locked-down process, but rather giving the right tools to employees so that they can make quick, intelligent decisions without permission.

The secret of GREAT customer service is never letting a customer walk away with a problem. This means the employees solve many problems, large and small each day.

Mike Moore is the HVAC Training Director at HVAC Learning Solutions, an HVAC industry expert in sales, technical, and business training. Visit Mike’s blog for more insights. Mike can be reached on Twitter @hvaclearning or on Google+ at gplus.to/hvactraining.