We live in a time when our wishes can be fulfilled instantly. If you need a bowl of ice cream now, it will be delivered within ten minutes and you can enjoy it. Parcels are delivered on the same day if you wish. Companies respond to the fulfilment of customer wishes as quickly and effectively as possible for products that are easy and quick to deliver.
Services are different. If you need a plumber, he or she is hard to find or has no time for the first six months. In healthcare and at the airport, waiting times are endless. Moreover, the desire for affordable, expert service is often not met, for example, due to a lack of manpower. The ‘customer is king’ is not always a given, and as a customer you can be glad that you get what you want. Nevertheless, it remains important for companies to know what their customers want and how satisfied they are in order to remain healthy in the future.
How do you put your customer’s wishes first?
Do you recognise yourself in any of these examples?
“My landscaping company has been around for more than 25 years. I specialise in the construction and maintenance of private gardens. Over time, I have learned that customers find it important to see familiar faces at work. If possible, we ensure that the same employees are deployed at customers. Of course, good work and quality goes without saying, but this really makes a difference to customers. That is why they usually remain loyal to our company for years.”
“I work in the outpatient department of a hospital. We suffer from staff shortages and excessively long waiting times. As a result, I get a lot of phone calls from patients who are sometimes desperate. By remaining friendly and doing what we can, I often manage to reassure people and make them feel that they have not been forgotten. That is all we can do, as long as there are no structural solutions.”
“I work at the counter of a car company and deal with servicing, tyre changes and repairs of customers’ cars. After every contact with the customer, the head office sends out a questionnaire about customer satisfaction. This determines the NPS score. If this score is below the standard, we are reprimanded. I noticed that colleagues anticipated this by asking customers, if they were satisfied, to fill in a high score. Of course, this overshoots the mark. In consultation with our manager, we let go of the pressure of the score and focus on doing our job as well as possible, making good contact with the customers and listening well. This works a lot better.”
Do you know whether you put your customer’s wishes first?
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