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Last week, we discussed the two issues highlighted by Ron Kaufman in his book Uplifting Service: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone Else You Meet (2012) that are preventing the delivery of superior and uplifting service by organisations and consequently compromising employee productivity. These two issues are: an incorrect perception of service and the absence of basic principles and effective processes to guide service providers.
Kaufman also reveals five key elements that can help overcome these challenges and deliver uplifting service. These elements are based on the best practices of organisations such as Nokia, Siemens Networks, Royal Vopak, Xerox and Wipro among others.
1. Why? The concept of service goes beyond merely responding to complaints; it is a genuine desire to take care of customers and satisfy them. This is best done by listening to them and understanding their service requirements and then possessing the commitment to deliver.
2. Lead. Differentiate your business from the competition. Having reliable and up to date products and efficient delivery systems is not enough, because your competitors are likely to have them as well. Make an effort to provide ‘extra-mile service’ to differentiate your company from the competition.
3. Build. Determine the ‘norm’ for service in your industry, and then supersede it by giving more choice than ‘usual’, more flexibility than ‘normal’, ‘faster’ than the average and ‘better’ warranty than others.
4. Learn. It is not always possible to give customers everything they want. Therefore, manage your customer’s expectations with what you can deliver. Build a reputation for making and keeping clear promises. Always ‘under promise, then over deliver’.
5. Drive. When things go wrong with your customers, fix the problem and express sincere concern for any inconvenience caused. Then bounce back by ‘doing a little bit more’ – offer a token of goodwill, a discount, or an upgrade to a higher class of product.
– Fauzia Kerai Khan
The writer is Chief Consultant, i&b Consulting, Training, e-learning. email@example.com
First published in the ADBUZZZZ Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on August 31, 2014