In a service industry you don’t always have a tangible product your customers can touch, hold, break or misuse. The service you provide ‘is’ your product, and when it doesn’t function, customers quickly become frustrated, just as they would with a product that doesn’t work.
“Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time or we’ll lose them.”
Complaints and poor service
In our operational experience the most common complaints are always associated with poor service. Triggered by inconsistency and incompleteness, poor service leaves customers feeling they’ve been treated unfairly, have been let down and promises have been broken. Failing once is bad enough yet all too often companies fail customer on multiple occasions – by not doing something properly or not doing it at all. Commonly this is a result of an operation failing to complete a task to the required standard.
Customers tend not to complain (directly to the business) the first time a problem is encountered. Complaints do start arriving at your door when things have gone wrong more than once, and the customer is totally exasperated. By the time you receive a complaint the damage has already been done. You’ve driven your customer to the end of their tether.
Lots of customer complaints indicate something is broken or incorrectly balanced within that organisation. This can be caused by many factors such as inefficiency, lack of control, poor quality and clarity of communication and that you’re difficult to deal with.
“Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.”
A reflection in the mirror
Complaints provide a reflection in the operational mirror – a reflection on you which can be painful and frustrating to look at. Complaining customers are telling you to take a look at yourself, your internal operation and they want you to do something about it. You don’t need to live with a bad reflection. Optimistic operations see complaints as free feedback, a trigger to identify root causes and a great source of improvement opportunity. Complaints are a call to action which you can’t afford to ignore. With a change in mindset and the right tools, you can rapidly achieve improvement in your operation.
We’ve assisted operations to reduce complaint with a combination of software, frameworks, methodology and experienced consultants who possess a deep understanding of operations.
With clients, we:
- measure, understand and regain control of the operation
- set it up so it’s able to deliver service in the right way
- work closely with managers to move focus to a customer-centric mindset,
- identify continuous improvement opportunities in the operation.
- diagnose root causes to resolve and strive to eliminate recurrence.
- empower staff to take action.
At dhp we can help you take a proactive approach to complaints. We’ll help you continually improve and achieve operational excellence. To understand what needs to be done properly in the first place, and how best to manage complaints when they arrive.