We live in a service economy where great customer service is an asset for almost every small business. But what differentiates between a service that’s great and excellent service?
Most people will agree that there are different levels of service: poor, acceptable, normal, good, great and excellent service. Today many companies are still grappling with the absolute basics of customer service, such as how to minimize the time customers spend on hold when calling the help desk. But at the same time, some companies seem to deliver excellent service on a consistent basis.
The difference between the companies that can and do deliver excellent service versus those who struggle to do this lies in people
Excellent service is delivered through a meeting/interaction between people. Great service companies do not only have great people, they also have great processes for how to induct, introduce, train, manage, develop and promote these people. They have a system and a culture of processes that are founded on a great respect for human character and a belief that an individual can do wonders if they are given the right tools and management processes.
In ISS we call it The Power of the Human Touch. Learn more about it here
So, what is excellent service?
In some popular books there is an attempt to create rules, describe ways and prescribe a magical formula when it comes to delivering service. Some go the way of reliable, timely, personalized, memorable, unnoticeable, and remarkable and so on. The trouble is that they all focus on how it is delivered – the internal processes – or on the service itself. But that misses the point of service excellence (and of service in general).
Service is the extent to which a service meets the customer’s needs and expectations. Whereas excellent service is when these experiences are surpassed and when customers feel that they have received that little unexpected extra in the shape of extra effort. Sometimes that little unexpected extra can come in different shapes and forms such as a smile, a positive remark, random acts of kindness or the additional effort by a service professional going the extra mile.
Learn much more about the topic of Service Management 3.0 in our our white paper here
and from the Slideshare presentation below.