Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Business Development: 3 Generations of Customer Service


In the past 10, 15 years, the customer service level was increasing. But is it already good enough? I've been in the service industry for more than 15 years before working as a coach. (BTW, coaching is also providing service!) Here is my point of view:

There are 3 generations of customer service. Most of our service providers in Hong Kong have achieve quite a success in the 2nd Generation. Are we ready to move into the 3rd Generation?

Generation 1: 20+ Years Ago - Service was just "Not Upsetting Our Customers", then you would buy from us. There are not many choices out there. Provided that my products are good and I haven't upset you, you "should" buy from us.

Generation 2: Starting around 15+ Years Ago - Service was/is "Making You Happy with Us", then you would buy more from us. Customers are having much more choices. They are well-informed about products and service. They want more and we provide more. We have service standards so that all our staff know how to deal with our customers.

Generation 3: May be we should start Now - Service is "Intimate Relationship with Our Customers", we are very close together and customer loyalty is the result but not something I concern or do. Customers get the Values they really want in a way they valued.

Here are some keywords that is closely associated with Generation 3. I will discuss them in more details later:

1. 360 Degrees Customer Interaction.

2. 7/24/365 Customer Intimacy.

3. Values Transfer.

4. Interaction is not Transaction.

5. CRM is Customer Relationship, not a data, computer system and/or selling tool.

6. World-Class Service, not just your own standards.

7. Standardization is Not Enough. 100% Objective Verification is the Key.

8. Customer Service is Not Selling Tactfully.

9. Outside-In, Not Inside-Out.

10. Targetted Customers is Not a Marketing Term.

11. Easy-To-Do-Business-With.

12. Make Your People Happy, Not Your Customer.

Take a closer look at our economy, no one is not in the service industry. No one doesn't have a customer to serve. (I am not talking about internal customers. I am talking about real, paying CUSTOMERS!)

If our government decided for us that tourism and service industry are the core of our economy, we then all need to do something to step up our service levels! Any choices?!

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