Today's Service the Changing Face of Technology

By Sanjay Shedge, Director I& L Engineering / Technical Customer Service-Asia Pacific, Sealed Air Diversey Care

Is there some thing called Today’s or Yesterday’s service? Yes, there is.

Generation does not limit to biological age, but it also includes biologically old people adapting the habits of today’s generation and the way of living life. I am sure you would have come across many people who differentiate themselves from the so called “Today’s Generation” and still like to eat Pizza, watch movies at multiplexes and are avid social media users. In my opinion, they too belong to today’s generation.

"If you want to get your support system right, you need to be in the same communication channel that your customers prefer"

So if we have to really take care of  the discerning customers of today’s generation, we need to provide service, catering to all their needs. Putting it slightly differently, it’s addressing today’s needs with today’s services. The way we are progressing with technology, today’s advanced service can also become obsolete and be termed as  “yesterday’s service” in a couple of years. Then again, we need to identify new technology and create ‘Today’s Service’ to meet the demand.

So what is really a Service?

Many service professionals say that “Customer Satisfaction” has now become a basic standard and the focus should be on “customer delight”. However, the question is, do we really provide or get basic service? Remember the frustrating time you spent on an automated call centre punching all numbers from 0 to 9, to select your options, while you have a requirement of a basic service, such as getting your appliance repaired as early as possible. Basic expectations from a customer are that when he calls the service provider, he should be heard and his issue should be resolved promptly at a reasonable cost. A prompt and hassle-free service always delights customers. Therefore, by simply meeting customer’s expectation or delivering basic service, customers can be delighted.

How do we achieve “Today’s Service”?

Customers are changing; they are becoming busier day by day to achieve their own personal goals and needs in a challenging environment like today. They do not have time for making calls or visiting service centre to lodge a complaint. For them proper working of equipment and prompt response to their complaints is the very basic thing, for which they do not want to waste their time, because they have many other things to do.

So what service providers need to do? To achieve service excellence, they need to underplay in certain areas intentionally. This means underperform knowingly on parameters, which their customers value less but deliver on the service parameters their customers value most and then make it profitable for both. This is necessary, because if service managers try to excel in everything, the desired goal will not be achieved and even if it is once, it will not be sustainable. Look at automobile industry, for some customers cost is on top priority followed by convenience, safety, status and luxury. Whereas, for some customers status, luxury, safety are on top priority and cost is on lower priority. So car manufacturers choose their customers and deliver best performance on their target customers’ preferred attributes and they seem to deliver poor performance on least important attributes. Then they are more successful for longer time. We all know about a key and reputed player of airline industry in India. They tried to excel on all parameters with some initial success, but eventually failed and proved their model an unsustainable one.

Once you decide your strategy, focus on implementation. Customer experience is one of the most powerful competitive differentiators. Additionally, while the quality of the customer experience is important, consistency is equally important. If you want to get your support system right, you need to be in the same communication channel that your customers prefer. With internet, for it being one of the most preferred medium, wehave many options to communicate with customers. They can send emails, give feedback on website, and use Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Then during the whole repair process, there are also number of touch points through which customers can communicate with customer service staff. At each of these stages, companies have the opportunity to create a positive impression through basic service recovery.

Utilise SMAC (Social, Mobile technologies, Analytics technologies and Cloud technologies) for service delivery or recovery. This way one can ensure that customers have access to the organization and you, as an organization, do not lose the trust factor.

Data you gather during service cycle are a crucial part of your analysis, which shapes your service. When you get massive data, managing it without the help of analytics technology is not only frustrating, but can also leads to wrong conclusion. Thus, always ensure you have good analytical tool.

The benefits of cloud technology can outperform the vulnerabilities and flaws it is assumed to have. By using the cloud to manage your database, you not only smoothen your operations but also protect your data.

A proper combination of Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud intertwines things and services for a splendid customer experience. And remember this “Today’s Service” will become “Yesterday’s Service” in some time.
So keep on inventing better ways of servicing

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