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This is a question that is asked quite often and may vary from customer to customer. Some customers are easy going and will be satisfied with just about anything. Others expect perfection in all products and services that they purchase. Then there are all those somewhere in between who unfortunately actually expect to have some problems and will roll with the punches to a certain extent. So how do you define and measure Excellent Customer Service?
Most of the time excellent customer service is actually defined by an internal culture that exists within most companies. Does the company operate to get as much billed work out as possible and expect some customers to have issues and then deal with them on a case by case basis; or do they strive to have every customer give their company excellent ratings on all the products or services that they provide. Most companies spend a lot of time and money to survey their customers in order to find out what their customers actually think of their company. The actual results of these surveys will indicate the overall image that your company portrays to the folks that pay the bills so that your company can react accordingly if your Customer Service Image is getting tarnished. What is your survey goal for excellent customer satisfaction ratings in your survey program?
One business that I have personally dealt with for product sales and service actually has a high level manager call me after every service call that they make to my home. They have been doing this for years. When I asked them why, they tell me that they actually look for any customer concerns and call right after the service work is done to insure total customer satisfaction and if necessary take corrective action promptly. They choose not to wait for a complaint but rather proactively call to make sure that they have a very happy customer. They also have a chance to thank their customer and hold out the offer to have the customer call them at any time with future concerns or suggestions. Sometimes in a sales situation we forget the value of a thank you call after the product has been delivered or the service performed. Sounds to me like customer service and sales fundamentals that might have been replaced in some cases by a survey form handled over the computer or by mail.
There is little doubt what this company’s attitude towards customer service is, 100% excellent customer ratings. In many cases personal contact with your customers is unfortunately becoming a lost practice that really is still the best way to monitor your performance and gain real valuable direct customer input. If your goal is perfection in customer service, these calls ought to be a rewarding part of your day and the best personal indicator of how close you are to actually achieving this lofty but important goal of 100% satisfied customers. How many happy customers have you called out to this week? We can learn from our mistakes and also from our very satisfied customers who help us learn and bolster the fact that we are doing all the right things.
Author: Don Pierson, President