When it comes to service, good isn’t good enough!


Over time what was once seen as great gets adopted by everyone and simply becomes ‘good’ – what we all expect.

In most of today’s supermarkets customers now expect home delivery, self-check-out, price promises, 24-hour opening and even a guarantee to open more tills if the queue exceeds a certain length. Yet 10 or 15 years ago, these features would have stood out – they would have been something special. Today they are expected.

The point is – what would have been rated as ‘great’ 10 or 15 years ago, is now rated as ‘good’. Our expectations, as customers, increase over time and if businesses fail to keep up, fail to innovate, fail to listen to what their customers value – they will not only go from great to good, they will eventually be seen as simply OK and customers will leave.

So how can a business make sure that their service stays ‘great’?

The first step is to distinguish between good and great. This sounds obvious, but many companies do not do it effectively.

A common mistake is just look at customer service scores or sales performance. These measures are important, but it should be borne in mind that these measures simply tell us how often the front-line staff member achieved the desired output (a high service score or a sale). They will alert you to the problem – falling sales or customer satisfaction – they will not identify the solution. To find this you must dig deeper to understand what the member of staff actually did to achieve the outcome.

It’s understandable that companies look at ‘outputs’ but to facilitate improvements they also need to look at ‘inputs’ – so that they can encourage and develop their staff rather than simply tell them what they need to achieve.

If staff work on the right ‘inputs’ – the ‘outputs’ will follow! If you really want to stay great you need to be monitoring and managing the inputs. What your front-line staff say and do when they are talking to your customers is what drives customer satisfaction scores and sales.

Cape Consulting’s 8 Loyalty Building Experiences™ (hotlink to sub heading Loyalty Building Experiences™ create more Promoters on http://www.capeconsulting.com/measuring-the-customer-experience/) are measures of how front-line staff behave when they interact with customers. Research has shown that if staff can consistently deliver a high performance across these 8 factors – customers are more likely to score themselves as ‘Promoters’ on the Net Promoter® Score.

Examining the data (collected from Cape’s research across a range of companies) from customers who gave staff 10/10 across these 8 LBEs – i.e. ‘perfect 10s’ – shows  that when staff are that consistently good 79% of customers score themselves as Promoters. Yet, when we look at the same data set and extract customers scoring 8/10 for the Loyalty Building Experiences™ – a good but not a great score – we find that the drop in Promoters is huge. Promoters drop to 33%.

So, if staff performance drops from 10/10 to 8/10 across the 8 Loyalty Building Experiences™ we see a massive impact of Promoters. Confirming that good isn’t good enough!