Fix Your Perception Points To Improve Customer Service Quality

If you do your job well, your company will prosper and customers will return, right?

Not necessarily. It depends on how well your colleagues and teammates do their jobs, too. To improve customer service quality, you have to look at the big picture for the small issues.

You may be the best chef in town with fresh ingredients and fabulous food, but if the waiters in your restaurant are surly and rude, your customers won’t come back.

Your chef may be great and the waiters impeccably polite, but if your cleaner leaves the restrooms a mess, your customers won’t come back.

Your chef may be world-class, your waiters polite and the restrooms sparkling clean. But if your service is s-l-o-w or the billing is wrong, your customers won’t come back.

Your entire enterprise is vulnerable at the lowest “perception point” your customers experience or discover: your slowest system, dirtiest floor, darkest corner, worst driver, least-competent technician or most unfriendly staff. To improve customer service quality, you have to find the problems and fix them.

This is true for organizations. It’s also true for individuals.

Have you ever been served by someone capable and skilled, but with strong body odor or bad breath? Would you gladly call on them again for service? Have you ever been served by someone friendly, patient and caring, but technically incompetent or clueless? Would you trust them to serve you again?

Whatever is your worst, lowest or least, that is where your service reputation will thrive, dive or barely survive. Find the lowest point in your organization, your department or your life – and bring it up to improve customer service quality.

Key Learning Point To Improve Customer Service Quality

Customers form their opinions through a series of “perception points;” every moment as they see, hear, touch, feel, smell or taste your products, people, packaging, places, promotions, policies and procedures. Your entire business is vulnerable at the lowest point in that chain. Find them to improve customer service quality.

Action Steps To Improve Customer Service Quality

Review every point of customer contact to see where you can improve customer service quality. Start with your products and systems. Identify everything that is obsolete, incorrect, difficult to read, hard to use, confusing or just plain ugly. Choose the worst and make it better to improve customer service quality.

Next, examine your people. Find those who are slow, late, uncaring, unpleasant, unmotivated, impatient or just plain rude. Teach them, train them, coach them, motivate them, reward them, encourage them, inspire them to improve customer service quality. But if all that doesn’t work, then just let them go.

Finally, examine yourself. Where are you late, sloppy, inefficient, ineffective or incomplete? Pick one area you can improve this month and take the action you need to improve customer service quality.

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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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