What Would Happen If You Offered a Service Guarantee?

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Lifetime warranties are a common feature of the product world.  They essentially say “we guarantee that the object you bought will work as long as you own it.  If the product ever fails, we promise to replace it or repair it to your satisfaction.”  Lifetime warranties, as opposed to limited warranties, are designed to be bold statements communicating confidence in a product.  What would a lifetime warranty look like for a service?
Service warranties (sometimes called service guarantees) promise that if a service provider fails to deliver the outcome promised, customers receive a full refund.  It sounds like, “Pizza delivered in thirty minutes or it is free.” Datapro Information Services guarantees “to deliver the report on time, to high-quality standards, and to the contents outlined in this proposal or you can deduct any amount from the final payment which is deemed as fair.”
Most service guarantees are anchored around[…] Continue…

Does Your Team Have a Back-Up Process for Service?

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The opening keynote was preceded by the safety briefing for the large banquet hall attendees.  It was the usual “in case of fire” cautions and instructions.  It dramatically and clearly called attention to the exit signs over the doors completely invisible in an otherwise “take it for granted” perspective.  The flight attendant on the airline does the same “notice the exits” speech before every flight.
Great service has great exits!  We all enjoy the convenience of self-service and automation…when it works.  But, if we are caught inside with a less than satisfactory experience, we need a great exit.  Great exits include cross-trained wait staff able to swing into action when your waiter seems to have disappeared.  It includes supervisors who can take over for a front-line person who unexpectedly needs to abandon his or her post.  Great exits are the capacity to change delivery channels or get seamlessly[…] Continue…

Planning for the Dark Side of Service

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A fun activity for Chip’s grandchildren when they visit his North Georgia weekend home is panning for gold.  The sand comes from a sandy river bank near a sight that was a part of the gold rush in the early 1800’s.
Panning for gold is not easy; it works like this.  You first put a double hand full of sand in a gold pan and dip it in the water filling it half full of water.  Next, you gently move the pan back and forth as you let small amounts of yellow sand wash over the side of the pan.
The objective is to let the black sand sink to the bottom of the gold pan.  But, this is the point where panning for gold gets serious.  Impatience or strong-arming the way the pan is shaken means the black sand escapes over the side with the yellow sand.  Once black sand is the only sand left in the pan, you are rewarded with flecks of gold.  Gold resides among the black sand.
Innovative customer service is like panning for gold among the sand.  But, like service, sand can also […] Continue…

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