What’s on Your Service Menu?

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pablo (9)

Menus can tell you a lot about a restaurant. Some menus have limited choices; some have way too many. Some have language like “no substitutions,” “salad bar extra,” or “breakfast only served until 10:30 a.m.”

Some show you pictures of their featured meals; some have crazy entre names like “Whoopee burger” or “Don’s Big Mess.” There are restaurants that communicate what they think of young guests by the size of their “children’s menu.” Some laminate their menus giving you the distinct perception choices rarely change.

Customers today evaluate their experience in part by your service menu—the choices and options you provide. Their expectations are way up. They expect you to provide what they want, when and how they want it. If you are not offering customers multiple communications choices, you are likely losing customers. And, they assume all service providers can tailor their experience. Can you imagine[…] Continue...

Do you have Service Experts Available to Your Customers?

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Name tag on shirt that says "Hello I'm A... S.M.E Subject Matter ExpertA quick trip to any museum not only provides an interesting picture of yesteryear, it reveals an instructive barometer on the ways we have changed. What would go in a Service Museum and what would it tell us about the ways customers have changed?

In the not too distant past, retail stores had sales clerks on the floor (not just at the register), grocery stores had bakers, elevators had operators, gas stations had a mechanic, and mail-order catalogs were all-purpose and not specialty. Stores had layaway plans and returns clerks; banks had signature loans. Doctors made house calls and treated whatever malady they encountered.

What has changed? Obviously, there has been a dramatic push toward self-service. But, there has also been a swing toward reliance on specialists. We often hear “we don’t carry that item, check with…” or, “I need to refer you to…” or, “you might look it up online.”

As customers are unable to “take care of it[…] Continue...

Great Service is Like a Puzzle

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Colorful Puzzle PiecesPuzzles are fun…especially, on a rainy day when there’s no ballgame on television.  Puzzles can be a great bonding experience for families.  Putting a puzzle together has a lot of similarities with creating a great customer experience for today’s wired and dangerous customer..

Putting a puzzle together begins by looking at the picture on the front of the puzzle box.  Great service begins with a clear picture of what the experience should be like consistently across all units.  Consistency gives customers trust and confidence.  Service at branch A should be like branch B; customers should be forced to pick a service person because one known to be great; others not so great.

Puzzles require all the pieces.  The biggest irritant to a puzzle enthusiast is a missing puzzle piece.  The same is true for great service.  Great front line service people are only as good as the tools, supports, authority provided them.  Friendly, but incompetent[…] Continue...

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