Don't Promise Too MuchBy: Jim Clemmer
I've recently bought a computer system, taken my family to a theme park and flown on an airline that were all rated tops in their fields for service. They had won awards and were widely cited as leading examples of service quality in action.
I ended up being disappointed. Not that the service was bad - compared with others in their industries, they were clearly better. But I had expected much more.
For example, the computer sales representative had touted his company's No. 1 service ranking in a highly recognized survey. That was the key reason I bought the system. Yet my calls for installation, trouble-shooting and integration with other hardware and software weren't the hassle-free encounters I had expected.
The service people turned out to be fallible human beings who had some trouble answering the phone. They were better than most of the others I'd dealt with in the computer industry. But in an industry that pays scant attention to customer support, that's not saying much.
This is important to understanding what causes poor customer service. It is not always a question of performance; it can be about expectations, as well.
To attract new customers, many organizations promise great service, display their service or quality awards, or show survey data that put them at the top of their industry. But those higher expectations raise the bar. It becomes difficult to meet them, let alone exceed them.
Here are some ways to keep customer expectations within reach:
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