Much has been made on how today’s consumers expect more from business than they ever did before, be it in personalisation of products, or in customer service. Consumer’s expectations for customer service has been steadily rising, with 54% of consumers globally having higher customer service expectations than they did just a year ago. Furthermore, a survey in 2018 shown that 57% of consumers switched services at least once, with 43% of consumers having switched services 1 or more times due to poor customer service.
Consumers are expecting more than ever before, and also willing to explore different companies to find the company that will meet their expectations. To differentiate themselves and even retain their consumers, more than ever before, businesses need to adapt and deliver service that exceeds expectations and delights their consumers and potential consumers.
Know what your consumers expect of you
As a business there is often a thin line between doing your best for your consumers and managing costs. Thank goodness good service does not require throwing money towards improving service. Providing services that your consumers does not use in no way helps your company or the consumer. It is hence essential to know and provide what your consumers expect.
When a hotel guest is to check in to his room and find out that the drinking glass provided in the room is cracked down the side, leaking water, unable to be used, how is he to have a positive experience of the hotel? We all know the basic expectations, yet businesses are often prone to not fulfilling them. It sometimes is as simple as providing to your consumers what they expect.
Do not be afraid to go the extra mile
By addressing your consumer’s expectations of you, ordinary service may end there. But great service does not necessarily end there. If you don’t even meet your consumer’s expectations in service, there is little to no reason a consumer will choose to procure your business’ products or services. But meeting your consumer’s expectations is something your competitors will all do as well. Going the extra mile in service often leads to consumer delight, consumers who will swear by your businesses.
One of the formalities in taking a call or assisting a consumer is to always ask “Is there anything else I can help you with?”. Many of times, businesses ask this question expecting their consumers to not request for anything more. Micah, a Forbes writer, knew this all too well. He chose to test companies known for empowered employees, playfully asking for a pony. The Concierge at Four Seasons Hotel, Austin, Texas, provided him with everything he would have needed to purchase a pony, taking his playful request seriously.
Such service is often compelling enough to prompt consumers to frequent the business yet again, with 70% of consumers saying that they will choose to support a company that has great service. Wouldn’t you like your company to be that chosen company?
Employees make or break your overall consumer service experience
On that note, service that a business provides can be made or broken by your employees. Your employees play an integral role in the creation of a great service experience. For a business to succeed, each and every employee has a part to play to ensure every interaction a consumer has with a business is a positive one.
“Customer service shouldn't just be a department, it should be the entire company”.
- Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.comhttps://www.huffpost.com/entry/zappos-founder-tony-hsieh_b_783333
Service is a culture, service is cultivated, and service requires heart. Whether you incentivise your employees, train them, or motivate them in a different way, it is of the utmost importance for employees to be on the same page as the company. One of the simplest things any business can do is to treat their employees right. Four Season’s leader Isadore Sharp's Golden Rule illustrates this perfectly: “treating people with the dignity and respect that they're entitled to, creating a work environment that led everybody to rise to their best self, creating a team spirit that everybody recognised their particular role was crucial in performing this level of service we were talking about”.
After it is all said and done, there is no cap for service excellence. Customer service is impossible to perfect. Great customer service is, however, attainable. Within a business, the dogged pursuit of great customer service does nothing but benefit your business, creating an enduring brand that goest the distance.
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