Satisfaction--80% Of It Is Just Showing Up!
Dave Brock, Partners In EXCELLENCE
(Download PDF Version)
angry and frustrated! Does anyone REALLY CARE about customer service and
satisfaction? Or do companies just mouth the words because itís
fashionable, after all, who doesnít want to make their customers
satisfied? Who doesnít want to provide the best customer service
I am cynical, but Iím starting to believe these words are meaningless.
Imagine this scenario: I have called a supplier, I am trying to buy
something from them. I know what I need from them, I am satisfied with the
price, and terms, I am ready to order. I want to give them my money!!!
Sounds like an ideal situation for any supplier, doesnít it?
not that easy, I donít think they want my money. At least they make it seem
that way. First, I wait on the telephone for my account manager for over 10
minutes. Then I learn that my account manager has been laid off, cutbacks
after all. Then I am switched to no less than three people. All I want to
do is place an order. Why are they making it so difficult for me to give
them my money?!?!!
itís done, the order is placed and I anxiously await delivery. Guess what,
it doesnít come when they said it would. On further investigation, I get no
satisfactory answers. When I say that this will cause me to miss
commitments I have made to my customers, no one seems to care. Grudgingly,
one customer service rep apologizes, but says that it is really my fault.
After all, I should have anticipated the company might miss their delivery
dates and I should have ordered the product much earlier than I did.
scenario seems like an exaggeration. I only wish it were, but increasingly,
it seems to be the norm, both in business to business and consumer sales.
Suppliers constantly put barriers in the way of my ability to purchase.
Itís not just with me, we see this type of behavior everywhere.
yourself, look at your suppliers to see how easy it is to buy from them.
Better yet, look at your own organization, how easy do you make it for
customers to buy from you? Consider:
current and potential customers easily find out where to buy?
business practices and processes make it easy to buy? Are your people
knowledgeable about your products and services, do they know how to accept
orders, do they know how to answer customer questions? Do they return
phone calls on a timely basis?
your customer facing people (sales, customer service, etc.) eager to get
new business and genuinely appreciative for the business?
sales people align themselves with where the customer is in their buying
process, or do they impose their selling process on the customer?
meet your commitments in fulfilling the buying process? I am not talking
about exceeding customer expectations, I am just talking about meeting
commitments! Do you ship the right products, to the right location,
meeting the delivery commitments?
make the buying experience so delightful that customers are eager to buy
again, when they have the need? Or is it such a painful experience that
they shop elsewhere?
about customer service? Do you have a company culture that genuinely
values the customer and seeks to be responsive to them, or are customers
those annoying people that interrupt your day?
every employee of your company genuinely know the only reason it exists is
because of the customers?
mystery shopping of your own company to test how easy it is to buy. You may
be surprised by your experience!
a tough week for me. As a consumer (business and personal), I have been
trying to excel at my job, I have been trying to hold up my end of the
economy. Itís just that companies are making it so difficult for me to give
them my money.
a bright spot in this frustrating week. The plumber came to fix the kitchen
sink. I happened to be home and spoke with him. ďMark, what makes you
different?Ē I queried, ďYour customers are always delighted with your
response, ďDave, over the years, Iíve discovered a secret. 80% of customer
service is just showing up. Even though I do great quality work, what
matters most is just showing up. Most of my competitors donít show up when
Unfortunately, this simple statement reflects much of the reality of
customer satisfaction and service. It is no longer about exceeding customer
expectations. Just showing up, or just meeting your commitments is 80% of
the battle. Too many companies do not meet this threshold.
of you that show up, congratulations! You have set yourselves apart from
the norm. Now, imagine the possibilities by excelling in the other 20% of
customer service. Quality products, services, delighted customers who want
to do business with you again and again! The growth possibilities are
couple of simple goals for your organization: Make it easy for your
customers to buy from your company, and when customers buy, make sure you
interested in your buying experiences, both business and personal. Please
feel free to share them with us. We will publish them, where possible. We
are interested in companies that do more than just show up! How do they
constantly demonstrate their value to their customers? What about those
nightmares? Please share your stories by emailing them to
Many of our training programs address these
areas as well. For information on the
Dimensions Of EXCELLENCE training programs, follow the link.
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is the founder and president of Partners In EXCELLENCE. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.