In the last blog post, we discussed transforming the service experience through reliability. Let us now consider what we can do to transform the service experience by creating the feeling of assurance in our customer’s mind. That is, helping them, as they reflect on our service, say to themselves “That’s why I do business with you!”
As we know, the name RATER is an acronym with each letter representing the first letter of one of the five key dimensions of service quality. They are:
Reliability: Our ability to provide what is promised, dependably and accurately
Assurance: Our knowledge and courtesy, and our ability to convey trust and confidence
Tangibles: Our physical facilities and equipment, and our appearance
Empathy: The degree of caring and individual attention we provide to customers
Responsiveness: Our willingness to help customers and provide prompt service
To help our customers experience each of these dimensions when working with us, we need to ensure that our employees act in ways that allow our customers to experience these dimensions. Today we will look at creating Assurance for the customer.
We suggested last time that you consider assembling a group of representatives from the company’s stakeholders – technicians, dispatch, sales, management and other customer facing personnel to brainstorm specific actions each stakeholder can take to help the customer experience that dimension when working with us.
Assurance can be defined as confidence or certainty in one’s abilities. This confidence in us comes when the customer believes that they are getting excellent service and advice and that they are in the best of hands. The interesting point here is that most customers have no way or really knowing if they are truly in the best of hands and receiving excellent service and advice. They really don’t know if our technicians are technically better than our competitors or if the advice we are providing is the best they can expect from anyone. Because most customers cannot truly assess these things, they look for tangible evidence that gives them clues.
Therefore, as you and your team draft the list of ways to interact with the customer to reassure them that they made the right decision when they chose you, consider what tangible evidence your team can give that will assure them of the quality and reliability of the service they are receiving. There are many areas to consider. Here are just three:
- Do your employees dress like the professionals they are?
- Are reports well organized and concise?
- Are work order descriptions clear and complete?
- Are your invoices concise and easy to read?
- Are your technicians organized in the way they work?
- Are incoming calls handled professionally and efficiently?
- Do your salespeople know who to go to for technical information?
- Is your dispatch professional and competent
3. Work area
- Do your technicians work in a neat and orderly manner?
- Do they clean the work area when completed?
- Do they clean (and even paint) the equipment they are responsible for?
As you develop your list, consider every customer touch point as an opportunity to demonstrate to the customer that they are right to put their confidence in you.
Next time, we will consider the “T” in RATER (Tangibles) and examine how we can transform the customer experience through the tangible objects customers observe.
What level of assurance are you providing your customers? I’d love your feedback! And as always, please feel free to leave a link back to your own blog if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site. If you are reading this blog post via email, you will need to locate this post on my website by clicking here. Scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will find the comment section.
Until next time,
“There is no truth. There is only perception.”
 From the work of: Valarie A. Zeithaml, A. Parasuraman, Leonard L. Berry. Delivering Quality Service: Balancing Customer Perceptions and Expectations. New York: The Free Press, 1990