Identify What Customers Want To Deliver Customer Service Quality
I decided to upgrade my website and contacted four developers to get opinions and quotations. What an unsettling experience that can teach a great lesson in customer service quality!
The first developer spoke at length about the need to set up “links, links, links!” to every other service quality, professional speaking, team building and corporate training site on the Net. He was convinced that “no site is an island” and offered to “link, link, link!” and then send out “spam, spam, spam!” in order to get more traffic to the site.
An interesting point of view, although I am not sure about all that “spamming.” I moved to the second developer, hoping for a different level of customer service quality.
“Your site has got to be sticky,” she enthused. “It’s not enough to get visitors to come. You’ve got to keep them coming back! Get your visitors to complete a questionnaire explaining who they are, what they do, where they live and what’s really important in their lives,” she explained. “Then build a restricted area for members only. And issue each member a special password allowing them restricted access to limited domains.”
Restricted areas are not quite my style, they don’t fit my commitment to customer service quality…and this highly individualized approach would certainly add a layer of complexity. Still, the range of ideas she offered was indeed intriguing, but her presentation didn’t quite fit my idea of customer service quality.
On to developer number three where the name of their game is “e-commerce.” An intensive tutorial updated me to the possibilities (and complexities) of e-commerce. Secure servers.
Encryption. Online credit card processing. Integrated inventory and shipping functions. EDI with real-time links the banks.
You can buy many video-based learning systems at the Ron Kaufman website, so the need for e-commerce solutions is real. But how enhanced should that solution be to provide the customer service quality I demand? And how soon? And, by the way, how much does it cost? Hmmm…good questions.
The fourth developer was the most graphically oriented, promoting animations and “shocked” presentations: moving images, spinning objects and very little text. They were clear in their minds that my entire site needed a visual overhaul of substantial proportion.
I explained that all Ron Kaufman presentation materials share the same visual identity. Brochures, workbooks, video programs and even the website have a common graphic “look”…carefully created and developed over the years.
“So if you Internet folks make a dramatic change to the look of the entire website,” I started… “Exactly,” they jumped in with excitement, “then all the other materials will have to be changed, too!” Not quite what I had in mind.
Each of the developers were deeply enamored of their own expertise. Each was eager to “sell” me on the importance (nay, necessity!) of implementing their solutions. Though several queried me later for a list of my specifications, none began the conversation with a keen intent to explore what I wanted to achieve at the website.
Key Learning Point For Customer Service Quality
Sometimes we become so expert in our own professions we forget that clients may be less familiar with the domain and have different expectations for customer service quality. Think about being a patient in a hospital. Don’t you appreciate the effort to educate you and set you at ease as much as the medicine provided? What about a visit to the car mechanic or the accountant? Isn’t having a background of trust and confidence as important as having the right work done?
Action Steps For Customer Service Quality
Invest the time and effort, upfront, to build your rapport with prospects and customers on their terms. Don’t just leap in with your bold (and possibly brilliant) recommendations if customer service quality matters to you. Explore thoroughly first. Suggest solutions later to provide the customer service quality people are after.
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Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “UP! Your Service” books and founder of UP! Your Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit UpYourService.com.
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