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Dennis L. Rosen, Ph.D.

The WinFluence® Expert on Customer Service Excellence and Sales Improvement

The WinFluence® Blog On Customer Service Excellence & Sales Improvement

Don't Try for Above Average Customer Service

March 30, 2016

 

Some in the field of customer service promote the idea that to get customers to come back, you should encourage your employees to perform service that is “consistently above average.” That way they should be providing the kind of service that makes a difference.  Here's why that's not likely to happen.

 
The Problem
I don’t think anyone can argue with the concept. There’s only one problem. Knowing the concept does not tell employees how to accomplish it. It’s like the old joke about the guy who wants to know how to make a fortune in the stock market. So he pays thousands of dollars to a financial wizard who runs all the calculations and comes back with a surefire plan: buy low –- sell high. No doubt that will work. But how do you do it? Despite sounding good, the concept is really of no help.
 
Neither is a mantra for employees of providing service that is above average. Of course, those who propose the above-average-service solution usually follow this idea with examples they have compiled of such service to help you figure out how to do it. However, these often represent extreme examples or unusual circumstances (e.g., employee leaves work and tracks down the customer who had left her briefcase in the store).
 
What your employees really need is an understanding of how to improve everyday service under everyday circumstances for your business. And statements like, “perform above average” or “go the extra mile,” by themselves, provide no foundation upon which to base everyday service improvements. To begin with, what’s average? And if you tell your employees to perform above it, what are they supposed to do? Smile a little broader? Say, “Have a nice day,” a little louder?
 
The Solution
Only when your employees have an understanding of what they are trying to accomplish in their customers’ minds can actions be developed that will work to do this and truly separate your business from competition through great service. As I’ve noted in the past, this involves instilling in your employees a true understanding of your customers’ needs, both physical and emotional, and then encouraging your employees to find actions to satisfy as many of these needs as possible (as I do through my DID System™ Training). Only then can they truly WinFluence® your customers and make them devoted to your business.
 
So, as you think about ways to improve your service and motivate employees to do it, keep in mind the importance of building a foundation for improvement based on customer understanding rather than just using some easy-to-state concept. And as you do this, please… try to have an above average day.
 
May all your customers be devoted customers!

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Dr. Dennis Rosen is the WinFluence® expert on customer service and sales improvement for retailers, service providers and sales professionals. More information is available at www.face2faceservice.com.

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