How Bad Is Your Service?
We hear so much today about the importance of customer service and yet we encounter so much of it that is not simply bad, it is horrible.
Businesses we walk into have employees who ignore customers and act if they aren’t even there.
A popular misconception that perpetuates bad service is the mistake of seeing customers as consumers. Too often we hear service businesses refer to their valued customers as consumers, removing the human being or person from the equation.
Consumers are faceless, inanimate statistics on a chart. When we view our customers as consumers and nothing more, it’s no wonder they get treated with indifference and bad service is the result.
So who should set the standard for great service in your business? Your customers. Since they’re on the receiving end, they’re the ones who know far better than anyone what the ingredients of superlative service are.
When is the last time you asked your customers about your service? A good rule of thumb is to assume your service is bad. Even if it isn’t it will force you to improve.
We’ve all heard the saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Too often people take a “snapshot” of us and make significant decisions based on that brief picture of how they think we’re doing. Sometimes those quick snapshots are accurate and sometimes not.
When a customer makes first contact with us by phone or walking in the door of our establishment, what’s their very first experience? What will the snapshot show? This makes all the difference because everything else they decide about us is influenced by that first picture.
So be attentive to the smallest details. Often they can have the largest effect.
An excellent way to make sure we deliver great customer service is to assume that we’re competing directly with one of the world’s best companies at delivering world-class customer service – Disneyland.
The people at Disney are always focused on the experience their valued customers have so that nothing will distract them from the experience of having a great time at one of their parks. If we aspire to use Disneyland as the model for the quality of service we consistently deliver, we will never go wrong.
A popular misconception is that it takes a lot of money to deliver outstanding customer service. Not true. Just planning, aforethought and lots of caring.
Simply put yourself for a moment in the shoes of your customer and go through the steps that they do as they do business with you. What do they see, hear, taste, and feel?
Sometimes it’s important not to just think better customer service, but to think different. How can you provide what your competition isn’t? How can your customer service reach a level that pleasantly surprises them?
In short, don’t create what your customers want, create what they would love. Create your customer service so that they talk about you to others and keep come back again and again.