I know what makes great service for me and it is a lot more than just giving me what I asked for. Nowadays I am quite a discerning consumer and I want a range of things before I will consider I have had the best possible experience.
Firstly, it has to be a personal experience. I need the business or company to address me by my first name, to know what I want and to recognise my individual requirements. This can be much easier for the very large or the very small business. The likes of Amazon have systems that will automatically recognise what I may be interested in from previous purchases or searches. For the sole trader business they are more likely to have a direct relationship with their customers and that can be very individual.
I recently bought a beautiful picture that was being sold by a small business that I happened across on Facebook. As well as having it despatched quickly, I was pleasantly surprised when it reached me in an extremely professionally wrapped parcel. I was even more delighted to find a personal card written for me, a little chocolate and a beautiful ceramic tag all inside. That is the kind of service that all organisations should be looking to replicate; professional, personal and with individual relationships at the heart of the transaction. (Thanks to Simply Quite Peachy for the care they took.)
Secondly, I want the business to be accessible and able to respond to my questions or issues swiftly. I don’t want to have to remember to phone during office hours because those are the hours when I am actually at work myself. Companies have to find a way of being able to take out of hours questions or deal with night-time queries about products and services.
I also want to know that the business has a presence on social media. It is a great way of providing an individual service if you use a system to identify previous customers. It also is a way of being accessible outside of normal office hours. I want to get the latest news, offers and information through social media and any business that doesn’t have a strategy by now is well behind competitors.
Finally, the product has to be of really good quality. Today, the farrier came to shoe my horse and I class him as providing excellent service. He turns up on time, takes a great deal of care with my horse and has developed a shoeing system that really helps my horse. I won’t tolerate poor service, which will prompt a complaint and not using that business again. If it is really poor then it may get a mention on social media.
Great service is something that ever business should be aiming to achieve for all customers. The amazing experiences that I have with a range of businesses make me positive for the future.