Monday, March 19, 2018

The Six Dimensions of Customer Service

Do you really know what your customer service is for?

If you know what it is for, do you understand exactly what you should be doing to efficiently and cost-effectively deliver this to your customer?

Customer Service is a concept that is usually presented as a collection or patches of complementing activities done by an individual or a group of individuals.

It is seldom presented as a process or a system that an organization manages to seamlessly and effectively deliver solutions (product or service) to customers.

The conventional approach is to teach people to respond to customers using the telephone or handle a live person-to-person interaction specially when there is a dissatisfied or complaining customers.

The way I see it, you never have to resort to complaint management or scripted response to customers if you have done service delivery or created a truly satisfying product in the first place.

Most of the customer service programs are actually damage control or image protection ploys.

I am also a customer for many services and most of these customer service programs are really just cheap scams or are downright shameful tactics to evade doing additional after-sales commitments.

You never have to handle complaints if you avoid hiring callous and stupid people.

You never get callous and stupid people if you didn't promote a callous and stupid person to be a supervisor or department head who got this person in the first place. 

You never promote much less hire a callous and stupid person if you have a good recruitment policy.

Even if you did hire the right person, this person will not be able to function if you don't have a sensible service or product. 

They can't handle customers if you don't have good process to allow him to get his job right. 

Your support staff won't be able to do his job right because he can't understand his job description (if you have one).

What I'm telling you is that all the components and dimensions making up your customer service program are tightly connected to each other. 

You need to understand that you will not be able to build a customer service program by simply training people or coming up with process.

You need to tie all components or dimensions together. 

You must serve the right customer with the right product or service concept.

This concept must be supported by a seamless process and effective tools. This process must be managed and tools used by members of your staff having the right attitude and aptitude for the job.

You cannot maintain the right process, invest in the best tools or hire good people if you do not have a business plan that will make you viable.

You cannot have or make all of these dimensions happen or come at the right moment if you don't work as a team.

It took me more than five years to discern that most of the things I have done to build programs in support of customers seem to fall in a logical cluster of relationships and processes within the organization.

When I plan my approach to build a good customer service program, they all seem to fall almost always in six logical components or what I call as dimensions.

I like to refer to it as dimension because it seem easier to perceive it if it is not seen as a logical sequence of events or time specific evolution in an organization.

In my experience, you can literally deliver customer service in a box if you can build all these dimensions gradually and then tie them all together.

You can do it simultaneously or you may choose to work on one dimension at a time. It does not matter. 

What matters is that you must work on it with the intention of tying it together sometime, somehow.

All the things that you will do to build your customer service program will most likely be within the realm of the following dimensions: The Customer, The Service Concept, The Service Process, The Tools, The Business Plan and The Team.


katty said...

This is really informative as well as an interesting post to read. Thanks for the good info! Customer service is going to be the biggest thing happening to the business world. It is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.
Small Business Answering service

Journeyman said...

Thanks for this post. This is very informative. I also have interest in customer service excellence.

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