I often ask this question when running customer training sessions:
“At your organisation, who dictates the quality of service you offer?”
The answer is often, the customer does.
If this is true, the organisation is on a fast track to going broke. Customer service levels, if too high, can have a devastating effect on an organisations profitability.
Obviously an organisation has to take responsibility for setting the level of customer service they are prepared to deliver based on revenue and expenses, and therefore profitability.
Provide the world’s greatest customer service and then going one better whenever a customer is unhappy would be cost prohibitive. On the other hand, offer a sub-standard level of customer service and customers will desert in droves. Every organisation needs to decide the level of customer service they are willing and happy to deliver.
Although the organisation decides the level of service offered, it is the customer that determines their satisfaction with that service. Customer satisfaction can be seen as a direct relationship between the level of service offered and the customer’s expectations of that service. If the customer expects less than they receive, they will be satisfied. Conversely, if the customer expects more than they receive, they will be unsatisfied.
No organisation wants to have too many unsatisfied customers so it can be tempting to increase customer service to meet customer expectations. This is not wise as the cost of providing that extra level of customer service will increase. Customers also have a habit of increasing their expectations to once again exceed the customer service delivered. We certainly do not want to train the customer to think that the more they want and ask for the more they will get.
It is much better business practice to manage customer expectations so that they fall in line with what you are prepared to offer. The odd customer that cannot have their expectations managed are probably not worth having anyway.
Interested in learning more? Book one of our popular Customer Service Training courses where our facilitator will discuss the 6 key factors that customers expect and if delivered, will walk away satisfied.