BUZZ 2 – DEVELOP your customer service Standards



Developing your own standards: Why?

Hotels have to follow standards, not everyone wants to be a five, six or seven-star hotel but you all want to know where you are, what you want to deliver.

So why shouldn’t you? How can you expect your employees to deliver a service when they don’t know what is expected of them and how they are benchmarked?

You need to set your own standard, you may be a shoe shop or a Michelin-starred restaurant, what experience do you want your customers to have when they come to you? And at what level do you want your employees to deliver that experience.

Ever faster change, greater customer choice and channel proliferation are realities every business faces today. In this still challenging time, developing an excellent customer experience programme is more crucial than ever; businesses need to focus their attention across multiple touch-points to enable them to build loyalty and grow their profit.

To achieve this, you need to understand your customers’ behaviour, experience and emotions. The ‘customer journey’ is associated primarily with the physical interactions (behaviour) – contact strategy and reducing customer effort – whereas the ‘customer experience’ is a concept that deals primarily with how customers feel with ‘delighting customers’ and creating distinct experiences.

Developing your own standards: How?

Successful companies that provide excellent customer service clearly define the service standards that are essential for business success.

Service standards serve two purposes:

* First, they are a powerful force for shaping the image that your customers have of you.

* Second, they are a great tool for measuring how well each employee in your business meets the levels of service, which are essential for your business success.

There are seven criteria for developing standards, according to Leland & Bailey, (1995).

According to these experts, standards should be specific:

* Concise

* Measurable

* Based on customer requirements

* Written into job descriptions

* Performance reviews

* Jointly created with employees

* Enforced throughout the organization

Customer-centric businesses don’t let their customers wander in search of information or help; instead, they provide customer experience excellence. They guide their customers through a carefully planned series of interactions called a customer journey. A customer journey comprises experiences which are, in turn, made up of touch points — human, physical, sensory or communication, either in person or virtual — and which are influenced by factors like price, convenience and location.

Adam Richardson, writing on Harvard Business Review’s Blog Network, explains how to use Customer Journey Maps to improve the customer experience. His customer journey timeline looks like this:

Engage –> Buy –> Use –> Share –> Complete

Knowing what happens at each stage, as well as answering the questions posed along the way by conducting in-depth customer research, will result in the most complete Customer Journey Map.

Creating competitive advantage through customer advocacy and employees’ engagement will inevitably increase your profits.

Can you see where I am getting?

Can you start thinking of your standards and what they should be like?

Extract from the book, Thrive with the Hive, author Claire Boscq-Scott, BUZZ 2 DEVELOP, download your copy here 

Check out Jersey Pages  P36 April Edition for the full article

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