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PERFECT CUSTOMER SERVICE PRESCRIPTION

BY JAGDEEP KAPOOR

In Customer Service it is better to do two things completely father than twenty things partially. Customers appreciate hundred per cent if it is in a few things, rather than ninety-nine percent in many. My Prescription, Perfect Customer Service Prescription, says that the Customer Service Professional must go all the way. He must cover the full distance if he wants results.

Customers get disgusted when companies leave their tasks incomplete. They feel cheated. Despite paying the full price, they do not feel they have got the full service. They are hurt and dismayed that things are left undone. Even if the job is ninety per cent complete, they feel dissatisfied with, the ten percent that is incomplete. Somehow customers tend to focus on the half empty glass rather than on the part that is done and the Brand Experience is ruined for them.

That's why this prescription is important. Perfect Customer Service means that the job is taken to its logical end, that it is completed in all respects as required and needed by the customer.

Ignoring seemingly small things can ruin the Perfect Customer Service Prescription.

As in the case of the thirsty passenger, who was flying from London to Paris. Since he had had a thirty-five minute wait at the airport when traffic conditions had delayed the flight at Heathrow airport, he was understandably thirsty and requested the air-hostess for a glass of cold water as soon as he was aboard. She promptly brought it for him. But the customer's thirst was not slaked even after that glass of water so he asked for another.

The air-hostess said, "Sure", and disappeared down the aisle.
Even three reminders later, what the customer had requested for, proved to be elusive, leaving him with a craving for something as simple as water. Soon the 'fasten your seat belt' sign blinked on and there was no hope of the water until the aircraft had gained a certain height. It was quite a while, therefore, before the customer could quench his thirst.

The point to remember here is that the air-hostess did not complete her task and insignificant as it may seem, this lack of Customer Service left a bad taste in the customer's mouth. The incomplete task led to failure and a bad Brand Experience. In this case the customer was truly left high and dry.

An Indian company dealing in modular kitchen furniture got a lucrative order from a family in Ahmedabad. They were excited with the company's hot new range of furniture. They placed an order and paid for it upfront. They asked the Customer Service Professional one question: would they ensure complete installation? The company assured them that it would and asked for three days to complete the task.

The reason for asking this question was that Indian families consider their kitchens sacred and even have a place of worship in them. They like to keep the kitchen spotless. And for those three days of renovation they anticipated having to cook in the living room. Sure enough, the company's men came and the kitchen cabinets and counters were all installed in time. But the family's joy was short-lived. For the very next day, the housewife discovered that one of the cabinet doors had fallen apart, the sink leaked and, horror of horrors, there was no place for the place of worship which was on the agenda of tasks to be completed by the company.

A phone call to the Customer Service Professional brought instant results. All three faults were corrected. Relieved, the housewife started to fill the larder, when, to her horror, the knob of one of the cabinet doors came off in her hand and left her sprawling on the floor.

This was certainly not Perfect Customer Service. Speed is no substitute for satisfactorily completing a job. According to my Perfect Customer Service
Prescription, the job should have been completed in every respect from the Customer Service Professional's point of view. And the customer should genuinely feel that there is nothing more that is left to be done. Trials A large multinational advertising agency (Customer Service Professionals) took a media brief and adamantly presented only one media plan, saying that this was the best for the client. When the client requested for at least three media plan options for evaluation, the advertising agency stubbornly implied 'take it or leave it; we will give only one media plan'. The client 'took back' the brief and asked the agency 'to leave' its services.

Customers are sometimes upset because despite the wonderful meal, gracious service and excellent ambience, the restaurant comes a cropper when it comes to having tooth picks delivered to the table on time.

Big or small, it does not matter at all if the Customer Service Professional wants to deliver a good Brand Experience, What matters is that the task is completed. And not just completed but to be seen to be completed.
That is what my Perfect Customer Service Prescription recommends.

The author is Brand Guru Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director of the successful Samsika Marketing Consultancy
Pvt. Ltd. Tel: 022 28597700/7701
Fax: 28597699
E-mail: jkapoor@samsika.com
Copyright 2007 All rights reserved with Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consultants Pvt. Ltd. No Part of this document may be modified, reproduced, stored, deleted or introduced in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means (Electronic, Mechanical, Photocopying, Recording or Otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright owner of the document.