Defog the Mirror of Customer Satisfaction

Are you using Alice in Wonderland’s mirror to look at your company’s customer service?

Are you satisfied with your service?

In a study of corporate chief executives conducted by an international consulting firm it was discovered that 75% of those executives believed their firms provided “above average” service.

When their customers were surveyed however, the majority had the opposite opinion; almost 60% stated they were upset with their most recent service experience! I’d call that a huge disconnect between belief and reality.

Maybe those CEO’s are using Alice in Wonderland’s mirror to look at the way their company services their customers.

Rather than ask or discuss why there such a difference between belief in the level of service and the customer’s reality I’m going to ask a different question. What level of customer service do you believe your firm delivers?

Is your answer based on looking into Alice’s mirror or do you have data? What criteria do you use to measure your level of customer service? Is it the same criteria that your customers use?

One business owner in an industry that delivers a high-personal-touch service to businesses wanted to know what her customers felt about the service they received and, if it wasn’t as good as they felt it should be, how it could be improved. So she asks them.

Once a month she invites a half-dozen “average” customers to a breakfast meeting and asks for the good, the bad, and the ugly. When she finds areas that the business needs to improve she works to improve them, developing feed-back information loops, ways of measuring raw data to discover methods of improving, methods of training staff to a higher awareness of the customer service contact points, and ways to deliver their products with more courtesy, timeliness, and consistency.

There are many ways to discover this information depending upon the type of product or service you sell from follow-up phone calls, emails, mailed surveys, and personal meetings. They all work.

The important thing is to discover whether you are satisfying your customers and, if there is a disconnect between belief and reality, to develop an improvement fast. Don’t let your belief fog the mirror of customer satisfaction – clean it with real data from your customers.

About the Author

Larry Galler works with professionals, small-business owners, contractors, and entrepreneurs to increase sales and profits through better, more creative marketing and effective administration systems.

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