"I'll Have You Know I Give GREAT Customer Service!"
Let Customersatisfaction.com Be The Judge of That, Says Dr. Gary Goodman
The rep snapped back:
"I'll have you know, I give GREAT customer service!"
Of course, this flash drama highlights a crucial question:
Who defines service quality?
During a memorable MBA class with Goodman's mentor, famed management guru Peter F. Drucker, this very question came up. A classmate in finance said, "Our competitive advantage is our widespread branch system. We're located closer to the consumer than any of our peers."
Drucker asked: "What tells you that is valuable to customers?"
Stunned, because this branch system was such an unchallenged plus in the banker's mind, he replied, "Well, it has to be; it's, uh, convenient."
Unsatisfied, Drucker pressed his point. "If you unbundled your branch system and offered it as a separate purchase, would customers pay extra to have a branch near them?"
Like that surly rep Goodman encountered, most businesses assert they provide great customer service without offering any proof.
"Do they expect prospective customers to be satisfied with empty claims and nothingburgers?"
When they hear self-serving claims, what today's customers do is a little online searching. And the moment they see a complaint about the braggarts at BBB or Yelp, they recoil and disappear without a trace.
Gleefully, they've punctured the hyperinflated balloon of self-importance.
There is a good way to avoid this "We're great because we say so, oh no you're not" defensiveness.
Have an outside expert assess your service policies and practices.
"Then, be endorsed, if you give great service," Goodman suggests. He is also the best-selling author of Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service, published by Wiley.
Customersatisfaction.com provides this evaluation and certification service and encourages great service providers to apply for company and service-rep recognition. Goodman can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or at (818) 970-GARY (4279).
Dr. Gary S. Goodman