As an individual or organization, what sets you apart from others when it comes to service delivery? Is it just the ability to meet customers’ needs?
Meeting customer needs alone isn’t enough. Almost everyone can do that, and it isn’t good enough anymore. Instead, customers whose expectations are exceeded are the ones who will most likely stick with the service provider.
The founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, once said this about attracting customers; “The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not just to meet them, but exceed them – preferably in unexpected and helpful ways”.
He also said: “Setting customer expectations at a level that is aligned with consistently deliverable levels of customer service requires that your whole staff, from product development to marketing, works in harmony with your brand image”.
Impeccable service delivery can be achieved by individuals/organizations if the seven things discussed below are adhered to:
- Know why your Customers Come to You: This is the first stage to take note of when trying to exceed customers’ expectations. Customers help themselves via phone call or email in letting you know what their needs are. It is imperative to have a list of customers’ needs when during first point of contact. This list must be reviewed again.
- Cause to Happen Not Wait to Respond: Be proactive. Organizations should identify needs or gaps before the customer does.
- Do the Unexpected (In a Positive Way): Send birthday cards to staff, send gift coupons or take them out for lunch just to make them feel special. This helps with retention.
- Clarity of Technology Used: Technology advances every day and not many customers might be abreast of recent developments. It is best to properly break down in simple terms how a certain technology works so as not to confuse the customer with ‘jargon’
- All-round Consistency: A smart workflow is key when it comes to consistency in service delivery. A returning customer has only returned because they enjoyed the service previously rendered. Once expectations are not met, it means that there is an inconsistency in service delivery and there is a high chance that the customer will not return.
- The ‘Yes’ Attitude: Customers always have requests, and if they are reasonable, always say yes and do what you have promised.