09 Dec Measurement of Customer Service is Vital
Last week we had a training workshop with a business in the Leisure Retail sector (or Entertainment if you want a variety of fancy terms!) to facilitate improvement in measurement of customer service.
In total we had two groups of 20 management and staff – one in the morning and one in the evening so as to ensure that the business carried on as usual as we worked away at improving the customer experience in what is a very successful business model.
We see ourselves as facilitators and our concept which we are proud of, is to involve the team at every part of the session. So there are no lectures simply some new information, but the vast majority of workshops use your experience and vision. We have methods of extracting that, but ultimately it is the team that shapes the change and therefore they own it as well after we have left the building.
Before we sign any agreement, weeks before any workshop with staff, we always pop in the question to management ‘and how is your customer service overall?’. The answers are always somewhere around ‘ah I think we’re fairly good…all depending who’s on’.
We might then ask ‘Do you measure the standards in any way – do you ask the customer?’. ‘Not really…but they would soon tell you’ is usually the response.
Unfortunately, research shows that 74% of unhappy customers simply walk away to another competitor!
Very early on in our workshops, maybe after 15 minutes of warm up, we put one full hour into measurement of current standards of customer service through the eyes, ears and noses of those providing it – management and staff. This is vital to everything else we do.
We look at the key areas of the business service standard and the level of importance that each particular standard is to the customer. We ask for scores of 1-10 in areas such as
- External Appearance
- Display quality
- Ambience and Atmosphere
- Staff interaction
- Helpfulness and so on (all depending on the offer and the business).
We break the team into sub-teams of four. Staff are mostly very honest during this task and they return with fairly critical analysis, scores which we convert into percentages. Most of all staff come back with a list of things that they don’t do as well as actions they thought they did and certainly not what management believed the business to be.
This list is the much mentioned “Opportunity for Improvement”. This is why we ask for measurement. Our groups last week scored 70.1% as their customer satisfaction rating.
We know that 70.1% is not a good enough score in terms of Customer Satisfaction simply because most if not all their competitors could achieve that. Therefore the task during the workshop is to seek ways to get the score up to 85% and above consistently – because consistency is the key.
85% is where Customer Loyalty kicks in and this where your business needs to be at this level consistently, to retain customers, and gain more.