4 properties of excellent customer service

Original author: Don Peppers
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“Customer experience, customer experience” these days is a buzzword for marketing strategists, and “customer service quality management” is the latest fashion in many marketing discussions. Excellence in Customer Service is one of six categories for which each year the Gartner and 1to1 Media Awards for Excellence in Customer Relationship Management ( Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards ) (along with other categories such as Sales Service Efficiency, Customer Analytics, etc.).

But what is “superiority” in quality of customer service, in fact?

To answer this question, which lies at the very heart of many, if not most marketing strategies, you need to look at it through the eyes of the client . And from the client’s point of view, excellent customer service is what just happens like clockwork, without “friction” . No customer wants to be required to experience additional difficulties, or fix problems, or repeat things that he has already reported. The best kind of service that the client wants to receive is one that meets his needs or solves his problems completely without his efforts, without the need to go out of his way or overcome obstacles. Obstacles - they are that very “friction”. No one has time for obstacles.

To remove friction, manufacturers, suppliers and sellers should focus on four key features of superior customer service:
  • Reliability . Your product or service should behave as it was advertised, without failures, not falling apart. You must pick up the phone, your site should work, the service will be completed on time and so on. Reliability for the client comes from what we would call “product competency” in the company. Are the company's systems and processes capable of producing and delivering a product or service as scheduled, without hesitation through several channels, and without interruption for a long time? Moreover, in such a way that he (the product) or she (the service) does not require a large amount of maintenance, repair, correction or excessive attention on the part of the client only in order to satisfy the same need or solve the very problem for which they were created.
  • Relevance . If reliability speaks of competence in a product, then relevance speaks of “competence in customers”, and the vast majority of companies working today are simply not very competent in customers. Many companies still operate on the principle that Martha Rogers and I call the Golden Fish Principle.”, Because (like fish without territorial memory) they can’t cope with remembering their client territory, requiring the client to re-enter information or search for things that the company must know about them. Each time you need to call the contact center agent your account number again, immediately after dialing it on your phone, you are faced with the company's client incompetence. Client incompetence is also “friction”, and the most effective way to eliminate it is to remember the individual requirements and needs of clients as soon as you identify them.
  • Value . Nobody likes to feel torn off as sticky, what happens when you find out that you paid more for a product or service than he or she costs. Thus, value for money plays an important role in an excellent customer experience. When you go to the discounter, you, as a client, do not expect service, as in an elite boutique. But when you buy a Lexus, you expect more than the Ford experience. Whatever product or service you buy, he or she should have a good price / quality ratio. They should be economical for those who are interested in price, and they should have “worthy value” for customers who are more interested in quality, status or other attributes.
  • The ability to trust . In today's hyper-interactive world, simple trustworthiness, namely, doing things that you said you would do without breaking the law, is no longer sufficient to ensure that the customer experience with your product or service is excellent. Expectations are rising, and customers are expecting you to be proactively trustworthy or someone you can trust . In a service that can be trusted, the client knows that the company provides complete, accurate and objective information and will help him avoid errors and oversights. If a client has to recount change or double-check whether he is doing something he regrets in the future, then this is an extra mess for him. And this is not at all like clockwork. Good examples of trustworthy services include:Some companies (AOL, Vonage, Stamps.com, etc.) make unsubscribing from their services a very difficult task , and this behavior, which cannot be trusted, is a behavior that is guaranteed to produce “friction”.
As manufacturers, suppliers and sellers, we all want to be sure that our products and services are positioned and delivered in such a way that customers get an excellent impression of them. And from the customers point of view, the less “friction” occurs, the better their impressions will be. It is so simple.

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