Customer surveys are a brilliant idea, no? No, not always. When you try to measure superior service and the emotional connection a customer has with you or your product, it can be difficult to get data that really helps pinpoint where and how to improve. In this article I will highlight some pitfalls in satisfaction surveys and measures and suggest some simpler approaches to measurement that will help drive the right kind of change. Continue reading “Getting a grip on emotions: 2) Who cares what you think?”
This week I will be putting up three posts on the emotional element of superior service. I will be covering:
1) How creating an emotional connection can build customer loyalty
2) Where customer surveys can let you down
3) Why, paradoxically, customers don’t always come first
First, let’s look at how a positive emotional connection can build loyalty better than loyalty schemes. Continue reading “Getting a grip on emotions: 1) Customer loyalty”
Harvard Business School professor John Quelch writes in the HBS Online discussion forum this week on How To Be a Customer. It reinforces the point made in the earlier post on this blog about the customer’s role in getting superior service. To summarise, Quelch suggests five approaches: Continue reading “Harvard Business School suggests how to be a customer”
At the risk of turning this blog into a restaurant column, John Maeda’s excellent simplicity blog features an interesting item on his visit to a restaurant where his white table napkin was removed and replaced with a black one. Maeda treats this as an example of trust – by demonstrating an attention to detail. Continue reading “Simplicity, trust and black napkins”
The discussions on superior service examples yielded a detailed response from management consultant Jane Northcote (www.janenorthcote.com) whose take on superior service recognises that it’s a two-way transaction. Jane writes:
Customer service is traditionally regarded as an attribute of a company: Waitrose provides ‘good’ customer service, an electronics discount store provides ‘bad’ customer service. Equally, however, it is true that customer service is an attribute of the customer. Some people experience good customer service, and others bad, even from the same organisation. Why is this? Continue reading “The customer’s role in superior service”
Delivering superior service requires organisations to develop five essential capabilities in their service organisations. These are all straightforward: getting the basics right, making a personal connection, focusing resources, flexing the rules and going the extra ‘mile’.
In setting up this blog I initiated online discussion fora in the [now defunct] Ecademy and LinkedIn business networking sites under the question ‘When was the last time you experienced superior customer service?’ Continue reading “Five simple things that deliver superior service”
If you want to lay the foundation for a great customer experience it’s a good idea to start with the look and feel of your location – both physical and virtual.
Let’s consider physical location – and I’ll indulge in another of my specious comparisons by comparing British and European motorway service stations. Continue reading “Enablers: location, location, location”
Two restaurant visits in the space of a week reinforced my view that it’s getting the basics right that distinguishes a superior service from a purely functional one.
Back in August we were celebrating my eldest son’s birthday and arranged a couple of meals. The first was at the acclaimed South London restaurant Chez Bruce and the second was at Locale, an Italian restaurant near the London Eye. These are two very different restaurants: Continue reading “Getting the basics right: a tale of two restaurants”
This category features stories of organisations which have provided me and other contributors with a good example of superior service. Where possible I will provide feedback to the organisation in question and, if they are willing (they should be!), I will share with you the critical success factors they have put in place to deliver superior service.
But first a warning: Continue reading “Superior service examples: introduction and warning”
If you want to lay the foundation for superior customer service then one of the enablers you need to put in place is to make sure people have a basic level of etiquette or good manners.
I was recently on holiday in France and was struck by how French people are conditioned to be polite by comparison with the British. Carry out most transactions – however mundane – and you will be greeted with ‘Bonjour’ at the start and ‘Bon journee’ at the end – that’s the equivalent of ‘Good day’ and ‘Have a nice day’ to book-end the interaction. Continue reading “Basic etiquette: the foundation for superior service”