About this series: This series of articles from Nextiva will help you grasp of the essentials of customer service: the principles and guidelines that will serve you well in any era, regardless of trends, changing technology, and a constantly evolving customer base. Our guide is Micah Solomon, customer service and customer experience consultant, author, and speaker.
Before an organization can even think about delighting customers, it needs to be able to consistently deliver what it takes in order to satisfy customers.
Satisfying a customer is dependent on:
1. A “perfect” product or service
…perfect being defined as “designed and tested to perform perfectly within circumstances you can reasonably foresee.” (Not the snowstorm of the century, not the city-wide lockdown in Boston during the marathon terror manhunt. But reasonably foreseeable.)
2. Caring delivery
…no product is perfect in if it’s presented to the customer in a way that doesn’t appear to be “caring” to the intended recipient. No matter how delicious the food, no matter how safe the jet travel, if it’s presented in a way that doesn’t show care for the customer, it’s not going to be a hit.
3. Timely delivery
…a perfect product or service, delivered on a timetable that doesn’t match your customer’s expectations, is a defect. And customer expectations in the area of time have recently ramped up astoundingly. Factors that range from amazon.com to the smartphone revolution to global competition to customers with complicated work schedules have led to a ramping up of what customers expect in terms of timeliness in nearly industry.
4. An effective problem resolution process
…because you will, sometimes, be late/uncaring/imperfect. An effective and complete problem resolution process is covered here.
Beyond satisfaction: building brand ambassadors
A satisfactory product or service, delivered successfully time after time, is a lot of work to pull off. And it’s important to be able to deliver satisfaction over and over and over. The only problem is, nobody ever shouted “Yeehaw, that was a really satisfactory experience I just had with your company.” It’s nothing to holler about or to jump on to Twitter to describe. To bring your service up to the level beyond satisfaction, where customers are engaged, loyal, advocating for you, requires something else. Stay tuned—we’ll talk about it next article.