Quantifying Superior Service

A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.
Michael Leboeuf

Goals are a great place to start when it comes to improving service, but what exactly is good service? Ask that question of most people and the net result of your answers will be, “I can’t quite describe it but I know it when I get it!”

Good service is like good taste; it varies in the eye of the beholder. However, a major reason that poor service happens in most businesses and organizations is that good service is not quantified. Sure it’s talked about, talked about, and talked about again, but rarely is it taken to the next step and quantified in a host of different ways. As you no doubt already know from other areas of your business, what gets measured is what gets done.

With that thought in mind, I suggest that you sit down with your staff and identify as many areas as you can in which service is given. For example:

• How quickly will the phone be answered—how many rings are acceptable?

• How quickly will customers entering your store be greeted?

• How quickly will you take their order?

• What extras do you offer your best customers? Others?

• How often will you send follow-up cards, thank-you cards, or reminders?

• What’s the first thing to say when you have a complaint?

• How quickly will you resolve any billing problems?

• How and when will you thank people for their referrals?

• What level do you want to keep your number of monthly complaints below?

• What can you do in response to a complaint?

• What are ten examples of things that make great service?

The above are just a few examples. Your business will have other criteria specific to your industry or service. By specifically quantifying how you intend to measure performance, including measures for intangible things, you take a quantum jump in your ability to achieve higher levels of service performance.

Quantifying service criteria produces instant improvements.

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