Archive for category Customer Centricity

Excellence in Customer Service Standards

I recently had visited an Apple store because the mute switch on my iPhone 6 had never worked reliably since new and I had decided to ask for a repair or replacement.

I expected great customer service but I got two surprises.

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For the most part my experience was great just as I expected.  Previous visits had left me expecting to be welcomed into an environment which was well organised and running like clockwork.

Being told the iPhone had a hardware fault and would be replaced on the spot was what I had expected based on Apple’s commitment to good customer service and hardware quality.

The first surprise occurred when an Apple staff member walked over to where I was being helped with a question he needed to ask his colleague who was helping me.  What surprised me was being asked politely whether I would mind if he asked his colleague a question.  We were not even in active conversation at the time.  What stood out was he treated me as the most important person of the two even though I was not the one he needed help from.  Impressive.  Left me feeling important and respected as a customer.  In most other busy retail stores I would have been ignored and the staff member would have just asked the question.

The second surprise was being told that Apple would restart the warranty again because they were giving me a new phone.  So I got an extension on the warranty period without asking for it and without expecting it.

Two excellent gestures which demonstrated the company’s customer first perspective.

Whilst I could have been left with feel negative and frustrated by a manufacturer’s hardware fault in fact I left feeling positive.

How does your staff training and warranty policy compare?

Do your staff understand when a staff member and customer are together the most important person is the customer?

Do you automatically restart your warranty period when providing a new replacement due to a hardware fault?

Great job Apple!

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Do Your Customers Love You?

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There is a strong relationship between how much your customers love you and your Net Promoter Score™ (NPS) as this is a mechanism to measure the levels of your customers' satisfaction.  

Only "Promoters" contribute to a positive NPS so if you want to lift your NPS score, find out how to get customers to love you!

Some facts to think about:

  • Totally satisfied customers are six times more likely to repurchase during the next 18 months than satisfied customers;
  • In 2005 Bain & Company surveyed 362 firms and found that 80 percent believed they delivered "superior experience" to their customers. When they asked customers from these companies about their own perceptions, only 8 percent of companies were rated as delivering a superior experience.  So you can't assume your products delight your customers, you have to ask them;
  • Positive customer experiences increase your odds of loyalty, category penetration and revenue growth per customer;
  • Negative customer experiences create dissatisfied clients who look elsewhere to satisfy their needs.

When architecting/designing technology solutions, ask the question whether your solution so completely meets your customer's need that they will be totally satisfied.  Just making sure "it works" is not enough.  Customers have to love what you deliver before they will become promoters and lift your NPS.  

Customer centricity is not just about placing about customers at the centre of your organisation's thinking, it is about totally satisfying their needs in a way which causes delight.

Acknowledgement to the "Do your customers love you" article from http://agknowlogy.com/Articles/tabid/78/Default.aspx

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