A way of customer satisfaction
Mar 14 2012, 16:30 | By Infomedia18
It is essential for an organisation to mould its service standards around its own customers, so that it can maximise its goals effectively.
Customer service standards affect us all, not only as professionals but also as consumers. While all companies usually base their standards on an industry benchmark, and rightly so, these should be seen as only the start of a cohesive and successful service plan. For the complete picture, these standards should be fine-tuned and adjusted to the specific needs of that organisation.
Do we need standards?
As a set of standards is adopted and followed by many organisations, they tend to become canonised as the industry benchmarks that others will emulate. This has been the case in several companies such as GE and IBM, which have not only set benchmarks for other companies to follow, but have also increased the visibility and the importance of such standards. For example, Virgin Atlantic, The Four Seasons, and Nordstrom work by their customer loyalty principle and are constantly looking for ways to offer superior service. These companies have elevated their service standards to the point that only these alone create substantial word-of-mouth publicity for the organisations and their services.
After-sales service: The crucial element
Companies that have stood up to the test of time and a changing competitive landscape understand that it is vital to have documented procedures that are used for the entire chain, right from performing, verifying and finally reporting the service procedure. After-sales service is crucial for a company as it establishes its service beyond that for just making a sale, and a job well done here will ensure the company not just one life-long customer but several, by sheer word of mouth.
Identifying a theme
Besides customer feedback or complaint forms, there are a host of other sources from where an organisation must deal with consumer input, including feedback from employees, call centres, the shop floor, management reviews, channel partners, factual data from point-of-sale, sales figures, surveys, product returns, blogs and much more. Reviewing all the collected data, noting the common trend to create an overall theme & story, and identifying key issues is a huge task indeed.
Connecting the dots between feedback and loyalty
Feedback from consumers can be both positive and negative, so it is important for employees to respond to both. Research shows that consumers who had their complaints addressed were more than likely to recommend the organisation to their peers. In several studies, it has been ascertained that the speed with which an organisation responds to feedback from its customers is directly related to how loyal its customers are.
In effect, how an organisation responds in this crucial time, sets the tone for the follow up and is the start of the contact with a customer that can create a lifelong loyal customer or one that never comes in contact with the organisation again.
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May 17 2013, 16:16
May 17 2013, 15:29