Meeting The Need For Transforming Leadership
Physics, Psychology and Business

How’s Your Customer Service?


Satisfaction scale 123rf_10337420_sI bet you are doing more to monitor customer experience than ever before. That’s a pretty safe bet because technology has simply made it so much easier to interact with your customers and ascertain how they feel about dealing with you. But, are you achieving the results you expect?

Your answer, naturally, depends on what you expect. But it also depends on whether your expectations are reasonable. Are you sure they are? That requires a much deeper dive into the customer experience you are looking to provide. Let me explain.

It seems that you cannot purchase any product or service today without a follow-up survey asking you about your experience. You get asked to rate the product/service; how likely you would be to recommend it to others and a slew of other variations on a theme. I wager you use similar techniques. So explain how this enhances customer experience and what makes you different. If you are doing the same as everyone else, it follows that your efforts won’t deliver the benefits you are aiming for. Let’s take a closer look at why this is.
  • Everyone doing the same thing invokes the law of diminishing returns. It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “If everyone’s thinking alike then no-one is thinking.” If everyone is doing the same thing and asking the same questions there is little learning and little differentiation. The whole process becomes little more than a fashion, perhaps exemplified by the hospital patient questionnaire asking if patients would be likely to recommend the hospital.
  • The numerical rating system is completely subjective, yet is used as an empirical basis for performance measurement and hence for strategic and career determining decisions.
  • Their painful ubiquity removes the original, dubious, aim of convincing customers that you care. Now I don’t know about you, but when I place an order, the least I expect is my order to be fulfilled without problems, when promised, where promised and to the standard and quality specified. I therefore don’t expect to be interrogated as to the extent to which that was achieved.
  • The request to complete the survey therefore seems to be a “tick-box” exercise; an unnecessary demand on your time, indicative of a lack of consideration and respect; intended to impress but really little more than a short-cut to highlight potential failings in their systems of which they should already be aware.    

This might give you a fresh insight as to why, despite your efforts, you are not getting the results you expect. You would be likely to achieve far more, far more cost-effectively and with greater goodwill, if you simply:

  1. Sent a letter on completion of the order expressing appreciation of my business and asking me if I had any suggestions as to how you could better meet my requirements;
  2. Replied immediately to acknowledge receipt and promise to review any suggestions received;
  3. Followed up with details of the outcome of the investigation either explaining what had been done or why it had not proved feasible;
  4. Offered some reward in the form of a special deal or discount to acknowledge the benefits of the recommendation. This more effectively acknowledges the customer as a stakeholder in the business, creates the potential for innovation that you might otherwise lack and would be more likely to cement an ongoing relationship with greater long-term benefits.

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If you like what you have read contact me today to explore how my original thinking could help you break though logjams that are inhibiting your business or how my ‘Every Individual Matters’ Model could help you value your people and provide the catalyst to help you create an organic culture where everyone cares and the business becomes our business, embedding continuous improvement that engenders ‘love at work’ and transforms – and sustains – organic business performance.

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Bay Jordan

Bay is the founder and director of Zealise, and the creator of the ‘Every Individual Matters’ organizational culture model that helps transform organizational performance and bottom-line results. Bay is also the author of several books, including “Lean Organisations Need FAT People” and “The 7 Deadly Toxins of Employee Engagement” and, more recently, The Democracy Delusion: How to Restore True Democracy and Stop Being Duped.

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