Be a great customer: give the gift of feedback

I can’t hear the expression ‘the gift of feedback’ without hearing a slightly sarcastic tone of voice probably because I have heard it used in that fashion to refer to feedback that’s un-diplomatic, too blunt or just plain rude. However, for any organisation committed to superior customer service, encouraging and dealing effectively with feedback is one of the most powerful things to drive improvement. I’m continuing to provide feedback to organisations that I deal with and will share the best examples on this blog. Here’s one that illustrates some good practice. Continue reading “Be a great customer: give the gift of feedback”

Getting a grip on emotions: 3) Putting customers second

Putting customers second is possibly a counter-intuitive response to superior customer service but it’s at the heart of creating an emotional connection. The point is not to disregard customers in favour of e.g. shareholder value, profit or some other measure but to put the needs of employees before those of customers. Continue reading “Getting a grip on emotions: 3) Putting customers second”

Getting a grip on emotions: 2) Who cares what you think?

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?”

Getting a grip on emotions: 1) Customer loyalty

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”

The customer’s role in superior service

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 ┬ástore provides ‘bad’ customer service. Equally, however, it is true that customer service is an attribute of the customer. ┬áSome 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”

Five simple things that deliver 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”