When we think of customer service we tend to think of the daily interaction that our frontline service teams have with our customers. Although these two important elements play a key role in the customer service process, there are other particulars that, if exercised, can assist in taking the customer service experience to the next level.
In today’s globally competitive and constantly changing environment, it is vital to optimize the level of quality assurance within our organizations. This will enhance customer retention, as well as assist in the continued development of a confident, engaged workforce that makes the right decisions while providing the best experience for your customers.
Sometimes, though, what’s old is new. Even though the regulatory environment is constantly changing and the digital world has drastically changed customer communication channels, we’ve found that customers still use basic factors to evaluate your brand. Way back in 1994, Dr. Leonard Berry at Texas A&M University was able to determine that customers, both external and internal, evaluate customer service through these five quality factors:
- Reliability – “The ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately.” Dr. Berry’s research concluded that 32% of customers considered reliability as most important in regard to measuring service quality.
- Responsiveness – “The willingness to help customers/clients and provide prompt service.” 22% of the respondents agreed that responsiveness was the second most important criteria in providing quality customer service.
- Assurance – “The knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence.” It was determined that 19% of customers felt that assurance was an important criteria when measuring customer service quality.
- Empathy – “The caring, individualized attention provided to customers.” According to results of the sample surveyed, 16% expected some level of empathy by having someone who cared and understood their situation or concern.
- Tangibles – “The appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel and communication materials.” Of the five dimensions, tangibles measured the lowest at 11%. Even though the study determined this as the lowest in terms of customer expectations, it still is one of the first interactions that customers use to begin their measurement of quality customer service.
Sticking to the basics is even more relevant in today’s world for service quality. If you are looking to improve customer service within your organization, consider measuring satisfaction based on these five important factors.