What you’re doing wrong with customer service: Expectations vs. Reality

Monday, June 10, 2013

It is important to manage expectations vs. reality if you want to score more credibility points for superb customer service. However, given the number of customers a business takes in, how exactly do you go about managing all of them?

Customer expectations

Let’s pretend that you own a seafood restaurant with the catchy slogan “Everything under the sea.” A customer walks in and asks for caviar. When your staff says you don’t serve the dish, the customer becomes upset and demands to speak with the boss. You come in, only to be berated loudly in front of your other customers. As your head whirls with his accusations, you think “How did this happen?”

Always remember that a customer’s perception is different from that of the management’s; you have to think outside the box and try to understand the customer’s side. In the aforementioned example, the fact that your slogan says “everything under the sea” led the customer to believe that you will be serving caviar, a popular dish made from fish eggs. The customer was disappointed because you did not own up to your promise.

responsive customer service
The reality

The reality is you cannot please every single customer who goes through your doors. Instead, what you can do is to manage everyone’s expectations. Saying you serve “everything under the sea” is a big no-no as there will likely be things that you do not serve. You should give the public accurate representations of your company, so as to avoid disappointments and, in turn, lessen the gap between customer perception and the reality.

How do you do this? Only promise things that you can do. Consider Payless. Payless promises to be your “shoe source” and divides its inventory by size. Once you walk into a store, you are met with neat shelves separated by sizes. This evidently cuts down the time you spend browsing shelves and makes Payless a credible “shoe source” for future purchases.

What you can do

You have to close the gap between customer perception and reality by accurately portraying your company. Unless this gap is addressed, you will always have customers who will be disappointed with your service because you cannot provide what you promised.

Open Access BPO is a leading neo captive business process outsourcing provider that specializes in call center services. If you need help in managing customer expectations and customer support, please visit www.openaccessbpo.com.