Tag: customer service
When a customer purchases a product or consumes a service, are there are unspoken needs that you can meet? Are there supplementary services which can augment his or her encounters with your company?
In other words, have you attempted to “read the minds” of your customer and anticipated the problems that they face or the additional help that they need, even before they utter a single word?
Image courtesy of Billboard
“Sorry” may be the hottest hit by Justin Beiber on the charts today. However, it is still incredibly hard for companies to say.
And that has led to so many countless cases of organisational grief over the years.
To celebrate my dad’s 68th and my niece’s 10th birthday, my mum decided to book a restaurant for dinner last night at Tiong Bahru’s Seng Poh Lane. Going by the unassuming name of Por Kee Eating House (porky?), the outlet was your typical old-fashioned Chinese restaurant with red plastic chairs and an outdoor al fresco eating area. It was as unpretentious as you can get, with a clear focus on its food rather than ambience.
When we arrived, we were ushered to a space next to the public carpark outside, under the starry moonlit sky. As the evening was cool, most of us didn’t quite mind sitting outside. Especially with a beer or two!
Yesterday afternoon, my wife together with my son and maid got into an accident along CTE (I was attending a work lunch then). What happened was a tale of God’s divine providence mixed with extraordinary service excellence.
My wife was driving towards the city and encountered the usual Saturday afternoon jam. Traffic was extremely heavy and crawling at a snail’s pace. Unfortunately, a slick black BMW driven by a young 19 year old guy crashed into the rear of our car. He must either be driving his dad’s car or distracted by his girlfriend.
The shock was so hard that the beamer’s airbag popped up. Fortunately, my family didn’t suffer major injuries although my maid had a swelling on her head (currently under observation) while my wife’s back hurt. Both cars stopped and my wife took down the driver’s full particulars (NRIC, license plate, hand phone photos of damage, insurance company, car model).
Used car salesman (courtesy of Chaka Raysor)
I am always puzzled why companies spend a lot more energy and focus on trying to sell rather than pleasing their customers. If you don’t already know, customer retention is a far more profitable strategy than customer acquisition. That, plus the fact that word of mouth is taking off more than ever in this ad-saturated age of increasingly powerful social networks. Here are some sobering statistics which tells you why you should pamper your existing customers rather than court new ones:
(Source: Customer Are Always)
Studies have also shown that a Customer’s Lifetime Value (CLV) can be far greater than that of a single transaction. In fact, 70% of a telco’s revenue comes from 30% of its customers: those who stay for years and purchase increasing levels of service. There is a nifty way to calculate CLV here.
Now shouldn’t you start paying more attention to those customers who made you who you are?
A contender for SPRING’s Excellent Service Award?
Many of us would have heard about Singapore Airline’s legendary service. Or how every employee at Ritz Carlton, from GM down to housekeeping maid, is taught to resolve any guest complaint. Must quality service only exist in premium establishments?
The answer is no.
Came across this interesting post by Seth Godin on his experience in applying for a VISA at the Indian Consulate. Totally agree with Godin that little touches like this make a world of difference to the way people perceive a country before they travel there for whatever purposes. I guess this is why in branding and marketing, every single customer touchpoint matter, right from the start (warm welcome) of the experience till the end (fond farewell).
“..Many of the chairs are broken, leaving sharp steel platforms on which to crouch. And there aren’t enough chairs, broken or not. The signs are confusing, the two clerks are protected by a sheet of glass a full inch thick (which is twice the thickness of a typical bank’s) and the little machine that dispenses deli-style tickets is broken.
Fixing the consulate would be easy. I’d start by putting in phone lines to a call center in India and making it easy for anyone waiting to get questions answered by a helpful person with plenty of time to invest in the conversation. I’d buy some comfortable chairs. I’d invite airlines and hotels to have brochures or even better, a booking agent right there in the waiting area. I’d hire seven more clerks. And I’d definitely lose the glass.
The more important issue is this: this is a business. They take in more than $20,000 a day in fees, but even more important, the way they market themselves has a direct and important impact on travel decisions. No visa, no trip. Big hassle, no trip. Given that every single person traveling to this vast country must deal with the consulate first, think of the leverage… Just a small influence on the quantity or quality of travel to India would be huge.”
Hat tip to Seth Godin for this fascinating food phenomenon in India called the Dabbawalla. These guys deliver food in tiffins (metal containers like the one below which we also use in Singapore) to thousands of offices every day.
“The manager of the Chase bank in Pleasantville parks right out front. Her branch is on a quiet street with parking meters available for customers to use. Figure there’s perhaps a dozen spaces convenient enough to make it worth going to the bank… if they’re full, keep on driving, because there’s always another bank coming up soon.”
This reminded me of exactly the same frustration which many of us face.
Spotted this sign at a second-hand bookshop somewhere. It tells me a couple of things:
1) We are very pally with the men-in-blue so “you better watch out, you better not cry…”