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Customer Service ExcellenceCustomer Service Excellence

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A recent report* found that out of six primary reasons for customer loyalty, excellent customer service was second only to the quality of product/service. Achieving and maintaining excellent customer service is essential for any business seeking a competitive edge.

*Source - Portal

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Below are some extracts from our Customer Service Excellence manual.

Customer Service Excellence

What is the perfect customer?

Focussing on the customer and their experience

Keeping the customer at the centre of our planning and processes is a sure way to deliver improved customer service. A great way to do this is to step into your customer’s shoes. An interesting place to start (and one we don’t often have the chance to consider) is what would a 'perfect' customer be to you and your organisation.

This is a useful conversation to have with your team and worth taking your time to explore in some detail.

The customer journey

Following your customer's footsteps

To truly understand what your customer experiences when they engage with your organisation you need to do more than just step into someone’s shoes. You need to walk with them too.

A customer journey is a map that shows the sequence of interactions a customer has with your organisation in order to pursue their goal. The sequence should show the order, the time taken, how much time separates each interaction. The quality of customer experience at each point should also be measured.

This journey may be a physical path the customer follows, it may be an online process or a hybrid of both.

In recording the journey focus on capturing the most significant 'touchpoints' where the customer actually interacts with your organisation. Only record points from the perspective of the customer and disregard your organisation’s internal processes.

The mapping process itself is a useful team activity. By working together as a team the discovery process encourages shared understanding. It also helps find and resolve misunderstandings and gaps in knowledge (or process).

Key points to consider when creating a customer journey map:

  • Be clear about the customer goal (what do they really want) in this interaction
  • Track the time between teach touchpoint (is it too delayed / too fast?)
  • Measure whether expectations are met or not and by how much

Where expectations have not been met explore what would make a positive difference for the customer - use the five dimensions as a guide:

  • Reliability
  • Tangibles
  • Responsive
  • Assurance
  • Empathy

Consider what we need to do in order to meet or exceed customer expectations at each touchpoint. This may involve changing, replacing or removing touchpoints.

The following pages introduce a range of techniques and strategies that can improve customer experience.

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