Poor customer service and the misalignment between companies’ perceived and customers’ experienced service level
New data from the survey company Megafon and report by the Danish consultancy company Meng & Company found disconcerting trend in the service industry in the Danish market. The report highlighted that a lot of customers are experiencing poor customer service. Specifically they found that only 8 percent of Danish customers rate service levels at a ‘very good’ score. This is critical since in the classical NPS system, only the top score creates loyal returning promoters.
In a similar vein, the rating ‘good’ can easily be interpreted as ‘fair enough’ or ‘adequate to my needs’ which isn’t really ideal for creating brand advocates or returning customers. Another serious issue found is the mismatch in the perception company leaders have on service levels compared to what customers actually experience.
The report showed that 59 % of leaders rated their company as giving great service. This is in sharp contrast to the only 8 percent of customers who experienced superior service. While idealism is a great motivator in business, it can restrain a company from moving forward.
One of the most important steps when implementing change, improving business or in general working with strategy, is to understand where you are currently positioned. The gap between ‘where you think your service levels are’ and ‘where you actually are’ can be a hampering bias for your company’s success – especially if you do not recognize that there is a gap.
The report found that 7 out of 10 Danish consumers have left to another shop due to poor service. Failing to recognise that there is a gap or that you are not doing enough for your customers can be really bad for business.
How to improve customer service
So, how do you address the issue of poor customer service? The first step is to see whether you are victim to your own bias. Try asking yourself ‘How is my company’s service level’? Follow up by testing your answer in your stores. You could do this by signing up for our freemium version and activating the 14-day trial to test your answers.
How did you do – was your answer biased or not? If your answers differed from the results, then you might need to address this by continue to monitor in a steady steam.
One of the elements the article mentions is the notion of ‘great service’ and how it changes. Managers are having a hard time keeping up with what constitutes for great service. Søren Pedersen, Senior Consultant at Wilke and external professor at Copenhagen Business School comments on the issue saying:
“It is mainly caused by lack of understanding what customers feel good service is.”
However how does one actively work with creating higher satisfaction and staying up-to-date with what great service is? We believe that asking for feedback on what went poorly is a key driver for success.
“Error analysis is the sweet spot for improvement.” – Donald Norman
By asking and continuously monitoring both the service levels and the underlying reasons for poor performance is for us, the stepping-stone for compelling service.
Many of our customers use the DMAIC framework along with our software. The main reason is, the framework is a data-driven improvement cycle. The framework consists of 5 areas of focus; Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.
You can therefore:
- Define your target service levels
- Measure your current service score
- Analyze cause-effect
- Implement improvements
- Control the improvement so you can sustain it for the long run
Today’s blog has focused on the poor customer service that Danish consumers receive in their shopping experience and the bias company leaders have regarding their perceived performance. We suggest that companies test their assumptions (you can do this with our software for free) and work with their customer feedback. We also briefly discussed the DMAIC framework that works really well with our software for improvement strategies.
Stay tuned for more from tabsurvey
If you have brushed up on your Danish recently, then you can read the articles here.