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A Season of Service Goodwill

You can never guarantee that nothing will go wrong in service. Simple mistakes or oversights can quickly damage your customer’s perception of your company. For example:

  • You order a rare steak and the chef cooks it medium.
  • The garage promises your car will be ready for 5pm when you drop it off, but then they phone to say it will be another day.

As Head of Customer Service I’m honest with our clients and never guarantee on issues.I prefer to explain what we are doing to minimize the chance of future issues and remind them that if issues arise we have solid processes and passionate people ready to resolve them.

To offer raving fan customer service, I feel companies must have the mission to continually improve it. I recall a great psychology lesson I was given many years ago that explained the concept of ‘diffusion of responsibility’. Quite simply, it is a social phenomenon found in larger groups when responsibility is not explicitly assigned. The outcome is that no action is actually taken. For example, in a busy high street no one may stop to help the blind or drunken person who has fallen over because surely somebody else will help. Diffusion of responsibility is a compelling reason for having small organised teams and excellent motivational leaders.

I want to hear how you would take responsibility of a situation and turn it around with a gesture of goodwill. Sadly I can’t meet everybody and so I have two VIP tickets to watch the Sale Sharks, which includes dinner and a signed rugby ball to give away. To come and share your service stories please provide the best reply to this challenge.

Without offering a monetary discount what goodwill gesture could you provide if you were a …

1)      Late cab/taxi driver.

2)      Dry cleaners that had previously delivered late.

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