Customer service is ... It seems everyone we deal with now is a ... service ... Remember when they were bank tellers, flight ... or just the person behind the enquiri
Customer service is everywhere. It seems everyone we deal with now is a 'customer service representative'. Remember when they were bank tellers, flight attendants or just the person behind the enquiries desk? So why is the experience of fantastic, 'blow-your-mind' service still so rare?
My family recently had one of those rare experiences in a small family restaurant. The food was good value, but that's not what made it memorable. What really made this meal was the combination of decent food with a bright, clean environment, friendly, attentive, knowledgable staff and timely service.
Our feeling of being well looked after - of receiving fantastic service - was not delivered by one 'knock-out blow'. Rather it resulted from the coming together of a whole range of small things, each delivered really well.
And that is secret ingredient in fantastic customer service: GETTING THE DELIVERY RIGHT.
No matter how good the food on the plate, if it had taken an hour to get to us we would not have enjoyed it. And our feeling about this restaurant would have been tarnished.
All too often businesses forget this. Larger organisations in particular seem to think customer service is about having a customer charter. Or running a public relations campaign. Or telling us that "your call is important to us". Or giving their staff the title of 'customer service assistant'.
The reality is that, as consumers, we don't care what the title is of the person we are dealing with. We only want them to be courteous, to give us their full attention and to know what they are talking about (as they did at our restaurant). And we want the product or service we are buying delivered with minimum fuss.
The same applies to every business - including yours. It doesn't matter how good your products or services are. If you can't consistently deliver them in an efficient manner and with minimum hassle for the customer, your customers will eventually drift off and try someone else.
On the other hand, you will stand out from the crowd if you focus effort on getting the delivery right.
What does this mean? It means focusing on the detail of how you and your staff interact with customers. It means creating systems so that orders never, ever get lost or misplaced. It means having sufficient control so that when you make a promise to a customer, you can deliver on that promise.
And it means having the systems in place so that all these things happen consistently.
Having a great product is one thing, but if you want to really impress your customers: get the delivery right.
***For more ideas on this topic, see http://www.businesssimplification.com.au/ideas.htm