Discussions around service excellence or the lack thereof remains a constant point of discussion in business today not only on a B2B level but also more vocally on the B2C level.  Being a service provider myself it stands to reason that this is a high priority for my business so I tend to focus on this point when it comes to being the recipient of services either for my business or as a consumer.   Recent personal experiences as a consumer led me to consider whether businesses providing services truly understand the concept as it never fails to amaze me how often this aspect goes wrong.  Either the complete experience did not offer the service excellence expected or it failed right from the get go!

Let me elaborate on these two points, if there are a number of interactions by a customer with your company it remains crucial that everybody in the company understands the importance of the customer service experience and more importantly is adequately equipped and trained to provide prompt, friendly and helpful service.  Its of little or no value, if your receptionist or call centre operator superbly executes their task and then the next person who handles the nitty gritty aspect of the customers interaction does so with little regard for the service experience.  All that effort put in by their colleagues is lost.

Then there are the businesses who get it right once, leaving you yearning for more of their great service, only to leave you hanging on like a wet rag on the wash line.   In my example, we needed a plumber rather urgently over a particular weekend when the geyser packed up.  Through the excellent emergency services we have with our insurer, a plumber was duly called out and within 45 minutes had come out assessed the problem and scheduled a return time that same day to come replace the offending part.  Returning later that day, not quite on time, actually 45 minutes late, (perhaps that should have been the first clue) the job was completed very quickly.  Some extra issues about a further impending problem with the geyser were discussed with the friendly
owner who then promised to revert on the Monday with a quote and time-frame to fix the other (not so urgent) parts.  Well that was 4 weeks ago…. 2 calls from me to follow up later… and still no quote!  Need I say more.

So the lesson here is never, ever, forget about the constant need to deliver a great service to your clients and to keep doing this time after time.