Bain & Company surveyed 362 companies. They spoke to people within the companies and asked them “How often do you deliver superior customer service?” The answer: they believed they delivered superior customer service 80% of the time. Unfortunately, when customers were asked “How often do you receive excellent customer service”, their response was only 8% of the time! That’s a huge disconnect and in the end, it’s the customer’s perception that matters.
One potential reason for this disconnect is that as business owners, managers and service suppliers, we are faced with the daunting and challenging task of hiring, training, scheduling, coaching, mentoring, ordering, reporting… the list goes on and on. Supplies are late, weather is bad, someone calls in sick and yet, somehow, in spite of all the challenges, the business is open and customers are coming in the door. We give ourselves a lot of credit for the challenges we overcome on a regular basis.
Go ahead, pat yourself on the back. After all someone has to! Just don’t expect your customers to do so. They’ll pat you on the back, give you figurative high fives, maybe even the occasional real one, if and when their expectations are consistently met and exceeded.
From the customer’s perspective, you are there to serve them and they’re not wrong. They chose your business to meet a need and they expect it to be met, regardless of the logistical challenges behind it.