Today, the companies are betting and beating each other not just on product quality, pricing and locational advantages but also on the quality of service being offered to their valuable customers. So important are the services that if undelivered may render the business totally farcical and obsolete. It is apt just not for the service-oriented organizations but also the product-oriented enterprises.
Of course, for the service-oriented business, the service becomes the prime concern for them, whereas for a product-based business, service becomes a secondary factor and much of a value-addition. The enterprise must track and measure their services in order to flourish by adoption of best service practices.
Now, picture this:
* As the customer walks in a restaurant, the waiter without wasting a second, visits his table and asks him, “Welcome Sir, What would you like to have", and during the conversation process he also doles out water. Shows signs of a good service.
* A kingfisher flyer boards the plane, gets the best of the best services by Captain Stewards and the air-hostesses as well, till the time he departs.
* Do walk in to a grocery store in a mall and you will come out only after filling up the questionnaire form based on the service delivery.
* Some companies even offer the pay-outs if the service-levels do not match with the customer's requirements.
* No gainsaying the fact that much use of the information technology has been made to upgrade the quality of services.
If you look at the service practices from the IT standpoint, the concept of SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) has gained immense importance. The purpose of which is to improvise on speed and accuracy of the software powering the business. SOA is a disruptive technology which is required to tighten the time for writing and testing the code. By facilitating SOA, the organizations can have a reduced cost, widely improved service processes, improved productivity and improved third-party services among a host of yet another benefits. The technology today is used and implemented by leading organisations such as IBM, HP, E-bay, Amazon and many more.
Personalize and Customize your services: The trend today calls for identifying problems unique to each customer and addressing them by way of connecting to them on a personal level. This does not mean that you should hound them by continuously hovering around them but paying special attention to them would be a freak idea. You can make a database of all your customers, categorise them according to the treatment they need like marking them off as ordinary, special and VIP guests. You should constantly be in touch with them by mode of direct mails, live-in chat or direct communication via telephone. When you know each customer's expectations, make changes thereof.
Emphasize on the free-aids: An intelligent customer knows that you are providing these services at some cost. Make them realize of the services that you give free of cost, like a hotel manager emphasizing on the complimentary drinks offered along with your appetizers. A medical representative gets business from a doctor by emphasizing on the gifts, free samples etc.
Reward employees: It is just not a customer who is special for you. In order to have the best business practices, you need to know that how your employees feel about your organization. The organization exists because of their service performance. Do reward them so that they are consistent in their work approach.
Hold customer-loyalty programs: Once you know that there are some customers who are very loyal to your brand, hold membership programs and subsequently reward them. The reward may range from a discount offers on further purchase or any gift item.
Hold aggressive promotional campaigns defining service: You deliver a good service, that's excellent. But, what about the unidentified target segment. Let them know of your best service levels through advertisements, press releases, newsletters or may be just a road-show. Share your success story with the world in every possible way.
A last word, your service level is measured by customer's expectations. So, greet him and treat him like a king. Provide assistance whenever the situation demands.