Q: How do you know when your customers are happy?
A: We measure our service and we’re at 99.9%
Q: But how do you know if this makes your customers happy?
A: Well they must be. We answer 98.2% of queries within 24 hours.
Q: But does this mean they are happy?
A: Well sure it does. We measure ourselves, and we’re doing a pretty good job. The reality is that our customers don’t really know what they want. So we give them what they need.
Sometimes customers expect miracles. But most of the time they just want your product or service to be what you told them it would be. And that’s what they think you told them – not what you thought you said. They have expectations, built on what they understood you promised, their previous experience and what they see in the market place. This may not be be fair, but if they are expecting something that you are not delivering, the seed of dissatisfaction is sown.
The thing about service is that only the recipient can determine if they’ve received it or not. It doesn’t matter what your metrics say, how many cases you open and then close each day. If they’re not happy, they’re not happy. You can’t “metric” your way to good service and happy customers. Only your customers can tell you if they are happy.
At some point in time, your current customers voted for you, and handed you the privilege of servicing them. They were wooed, promised, convinced, persuaded. Perhaps they even piloted your service, and found that it tasted good. Sooner or later, they will vote again, with their feet. When the worm of public opinion starts to turn, and crowd behavior takes over, you’ll be left with a great service, meeting all of your internal metrics, that no-one wants to buy.