Customer service is all about expectation. A business that offers a fast response or a personal service is setting up an expectation. If that company does not fulfil its promise, its customers will be disappointed
This fundamental facet of customer service can be demonstrated in more detail in the diagram below.
The section above the dotted line represents the customer, who is influenced by a number of different things to form an opinion about what they might expect from your organisation.
These differing opinions distil into their customer expectation.
The area below the dotted line represents your organisation as the service provider.
There is the possibility that a number of gaps creep in between the customer service the customer expects to receive from you and the customer service they perceive they get from you.
Taking each gap in turn:
So, what are you promising your customers? Go through all the aspects of your communication to customers, your sales and marketing messages. Are your customers' expectations being met or exceeded?
The best way to wow your customers is to 'under-promise' and 'over-deliver'. If you know you can deliver in three days, promise five and your customer will be pleasantly surprised when you call with an early delivery date.
Good customer service comes from a 'can do' attitude. This is about being able to achieve things, being solution orientated, being happy and being prepared to go that extra mile.
'Can't do' people are identified by their blaming, cynical and discouraging attitudes; people that give justifications to customers such as 'it's not my fault' or 'well, it's company policy'. Such attitudes cost companies because customers want to be served by people that can solve their problems, not by those that have a long list of excuses.
For further articles and guidance on managing customer expections, see the Resources box on the right.