Customer care excellence
- September 28, 2016
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Customer Care, Financial and Commercial, General, Organisational development, Personal Skills
At a recent customer care event I hosted I was reminded how often people trying to improve their customer care practices overlook the fact that all care is not the same. Sometimes huge efforts receive limited recognition from a customer while relatively easy actions can create surprisingly positive impacts. It is all down to the levels of expectation of the customer against what is provided to them. Any customer interaction with a business will fall into one of three phases:
Pre transaction phase
(HIGH FIRST IMPRESSION potential)
Product sale / Service delivery phase
(I.e. Business doing what it does)
(POSSIBLE FIRST IMPRESSION potential)
|Post transaction phase|
|Typical activities||Typical activities||Typical activities|
|Marketing /advertising/web promotion etc.
Biding /quoting/ tendering
|Making sales/ providing goods and services on contracts etc.
|Satisfaction follow up /project close outs
Spares/maintenance /service support hotlines
Warranty issues/ snagging/ Complaint handling
New product Information updates/ blogs
Billing and admin
Customers’ service expectations will vary between the phases, hence so will the opportunities for exceeding them. If a customer expects great things, then exceeding that level will be difficult.
If they have little or no hopes built up then there are high chances of being favourably impactful.
|Pre- transaction phase||Product sale / Service delivery phase||Post transaction phase|
|Customer service expectations levels||VARIABLE but potentially low unless you come very highly recommended to them||VERY HIGH. You are expected to do your job and give them what was promised||VARIABLE. If your business is stand-alone sales with low spares or service needs, LOW levels may prevail. If you do offer ongoing support the customer will have the same VERY HIGH expectations, as in their buying phase.|
|POSITIVE HIGH IMPACT POTENTIAL
|Unless they have been told to expect something special, there is a chance, with a good FIRST IMPRESSION, to make a VERY HIGH impact, possibly via slick, easy to use web sites, great pre-sales face to face meetings or brilliant tendering skills||LOW. Unless you can blow the customer away the first time you actually work with them, their high expectations of …getting it right first time… mean it will be hard to impress them. You are going to have to be doing something extra special||If follow up support is normal, solving problems /complaints very well can generate a MODERATE amount of goodwill. Taking unexpected proactive steps over and above requirements does offer VERY HIGH goodwill opportunities.|
|HIGH NEGATIVE IMPACT
|FIRST IMPRESSIONS can be bad as well as good but unless you do something terrible pre-customer contact should be NEUTRAL||VERY HIGH. Any failure in your basic market offering will drive customers MAD||VERY HIGH. Poorly performing in a primary role then failing to fix any issues will drive customers away, as will showing any apparent apathy or lack of care|
If you are trying to be thought of as displaying excellent customer care, clearly the odds are against
you if you just try to do a good basic job in your core activities. High standards here is already taken as given. To stand out you will have to be phenomenal in the transactional phase and / or find some way of treating customers as special before and after they have sampled your core offerings.
Hope this helps you plan how to maximise the goodwill you can build up with your client care efforts..
If you would like some help then contact Keith Wilson at: Pearl Onion Training
T 01467 681404