Beauty is truly only in the eyes of the beholder. This is especially true when you blend businesses with customer service. For example, a great experience in the local fast food drive-thru is not identical to a great dining experience in a posh Bismarck-Mandan Metropolitan Area restaurant.
Sure they both deal with eating; but it is the expectations of the patron that differentiate customer service at one business versus another down the block. Customer expectations, before someone goes to the car dealership, or before a customer goes to check out a flat screen T.V. in the local appliance store should be surveyed and benchmarked for service success.
Now, how do you gauge the expectations of your customers and your potential customers? How do you possibly gather this type of data? The answers lie in the simplest of strategies; you ask them.
In a survey at the time of transaction you can collect very straight-forward information:
- Are the business hours convenient?
- Are we on time with product and service?
- Is the quality of service meeting basic expectations?
- Has everyone been friendly?
The results of even this most basic of information will help both clients and service personnel get the most from every relationship and interaction. Blending the business mission with consumer loyalty and expectations are not only critical but essential in the 2012 economy, even here in North Dakota where the economy is as healthy as any in the country.
The principal strategy, once expectations are known, is to train the employees to go out of their way to exceed them. The commitment to understand the customer’s perspective and minimize issues and complaints is the basis for best- in- class customer service.
- A second internal survey can provide a lot of additional information:
- Knowing the expectations, how do you make customers happy when there is a problem?
- How do you make sure that you understand the client’s needs and wants?
- How do you maintain an equal relationship with customers?
When your team can manage customer expectations, they can improve both process and satisfaction. It is a formula for success that businesses can live with and learn from every day.
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