Customer satisfaction requires more than satisfactory service

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

A traveler attempting to book a ticket by phone became frustrated after choosing from a menu of endless options then waiting on hold for twenty minutes before eventually being transferred twice, with the second time to a dial tone! When she called back, the first live person she connected with got an earful of her frustration about what had transpired and how poor the customer service was. The agent responded without hesitation stating, “Oh, well we’re not doing that anymore.” “Not doing what?” inquired the caller. “The customer service thing….we tried that before and it wasn’t working for us!” While the airline representative was undoubtedly joking in an effort to make light of a bad situation, his sarcasm is actually a serious assessment of the customer satisfaction attitude that transpires all too often.

From clusters of retail clerks engaging in personal conversation while a shopper waits patiently to be acknowledged, to grocery stores having only one register open at 5 p.m. on a weekday, customer satisfaction levels decrease while customer frustration levels increase. It’s become too common for an employee to respond to an inquiry from a customer as if their request is an imposition. As a result, potential buyers often feel compelled to apologize for the inconvenience their need for assistance has caused or ultimately determine their lack of need for that product or service at that time. It would be an eye-opening statistic to calculate the dollars in items discarded before check-out as a result of a customer’s perception of not being properly serviced.

While not the norm, a focus on the customer’s needs is refreshing as in the example of a salesperson searching for a non-essential item as if they were helping a parent find a lost child. Perhaps this kind of customer service is considered exceptional because it is more of the exception than the rule. 

Ways to improve customer satisfaction:

Set Expectations
It is probably true that common sense isn’t so common any more. In the context of customer satisfaction, that means that client service expectations need to be established and not assumed. As the world becomes increasingly more electronic, it is even more important that a focus on personalization is not deleted from ‘business to end-user’ relationships. Defining appropriate actions and attitudes will ensure a clear definition of what is and isn’t acceptable to protect the reputation of the company.

Provide Training
Highlight guidelines that identify appropriate resolutions to common issues to assist employees in both their initial learning curve as well as part of their ongoing development.  An extension of that educational process is to depict examples of typical scenarios and suitable end results then practice them in hypothetical settings through small group application exercises. These activities will enhance long-term behavioral modification and reduce turnover.

Take Action
It has been said that there is no advance without chance and where there’s no guts there’s no glory! Equally true is that insubordination requires ramification! While it can be difficult to exercise authority for noncompliance to customer satisfaction expectations, the impact of not taking action can be insurmountable. Corporate complacency is contagious and when one’s lackadaisical attitude is overlooked, the interpretation by their associates is that it is acceptable behavior. This is devastating to any department and incredibly difficult to reverse.

Benefits of focusing on exceptional customer satisfaction: 

Upsell Opportunities
It is not the dollar amount that can be saved that counts or even the amount that can be purchased for the amount spent. Ultimately, it is the buying experience that mostly impacts the decision to buy more than intended. Advertisements are inundated with discounts and multi-item incentives, but it is the customer satisfaction factor more than anything else, that encourages a decision to invest in additional items or upgraded features.    

Repeat Business
More often than not customers will frequent an establishment, even if a comparable product or service can be purchased for less money and/or at a location that is more convenient to get to. Why? Because of the service they receive and their effortless customer experience. This justifies that the value is in the perception, not in what figuratively goes home in the bag.

Word of Mouth Marketing
The best compliment is a recommendation and the most expensive advertising is a bad customer experience that is shared with others. The last loaf of bread at the mom & pop market was dated yesterday. When a shopper inquired about the half-price deal on day-old bread available at the competing grocery store in town, the owner replied that he doesn’t offer discounts like that because his vendor gives him back 80% on leftovers with the next day’s order. That $3.00 loaf of bread gained 90 cents more profit from the supplier than if sold at 50% off to the customer. But how much did it actually cost when factoring in the negative customer experience?

No, the customer is NOT always right; but the customer does always have the right to make the final buying decision. Therefore, the way a prospective buyer is treated really does matter- with respect to their initial buy, their future purchase considerations and for the story they tell of their experience.

Diane Ciotta is the founder of The Keynote Effect, where she presents a passionate message of accountability and encourages activities to conquer complacency. As a professional speaker with more than 20 years of sales training experience, she is also co-author of the book, “Pushing to the Front,” with Brian Tracy. For more information, please visit www.thekeynoteeffect.com, e-mail di@thekeynoteeffect.com or call 732-672-7942.


Prev 1 2 3 Next All



Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Grain Storage Systems

Behlen Grain Storage Systems offers large capacity bins with diameters from 16’ to 157’ and capacities exceeding 1,500,000 bushels. All ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form