The Number One Key to Great Customer Service

bigstock-professional-chefs-35348126I travel a lot, and in my travels, whether for business or pleasure, I try my best to stay in the same hotel chain. Why? Because I know what I’m going to get.

Similarly, when I’m traveling overseas, I actually look for a very recognizable quick service restaurant chain.  Why? Because I know what I’m going to get (and depending on where I’ve traveled, sometimes I just want food I recognize, HA!)

I’ve come to realize that this restaurant isn’t primarily in the food service business at all…they’re actually in the CONSISTENCY business. They just happen to sell fast food.

Consistency in delivery will keep customers coming back

How’s your company doing when it comes to delivering consistent service?  It’s so important to get it right because it is the foundation upon which the service event rests. Think about your own experience.  Why do you patronize the stores you do?  Isn’t one of the reasons because you know your expectations will be met?  You may say, “I just like shopping there, eating there, staying there,” but behind those words is consistency in delivery.

Process and People

A consistent delivery experience has two components—a clear process, and people to implement it.  You need both to be successful.  Here’s a simple five-step model that will help you to begin identifying where you’re at when it comes to having a process and the people in place to deliver a consistent customer experience every time.  Put it together and you’ll see it spells out “I CARE,” which is a great reminder also!

  • Ideal Service—what’s your picture of the ideal experience you want your customers to have?
  • Culture of Service—is your environment focused on the customer?
  • Attentiveness—do you know your customers and their preferences?
  • Responsiveness—do you and your people demonstrate a genuine willingness to serve? What specific behaviors do you want to see?
  • Empowerment—are you taking the time—and providing the training—to empower your people to implement the service vision?

Organizations are only as good as their people.  This is especially true in any environment where you are directly dealing with customers.  Remember the I CARE model to improve your process and provide a model for your people. It’s one of the best ways to get started with creating the consistent experience that keeps customers coming back time and time again.  Get started today!

About the author:

Ann Phillips is a senior consulting partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies.  You can read Ann’s posts as a part of our customer service series that appears twice montly.

4 thoughts on “The Number One Key to Great Customer Service

  1. Thanks for sharing I really learnt something new I am a customer relation executive and I always tell my team we need to treat/serve customers has we would like to be served. I believe in order to satisfy the customer we need to establish within ourselves what I call – want to altitude – because if someone is willing to do something he or she will do it right.

  2. While I’m one that thrives on change and different experiences, I understand customers love consistency. Your breakdown of I Care shares a great formula for success in this arena. I’ll refer to it often Ann!

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