Customer Service: How do you rate?

Customer Service How do you rate? By Bill de Decker September 1999 Bill de Decker is a Partner with Conklin & de Decker Associates, publishers of aircraft operating cost databases, MxManager® integrated maintenance management...

Why focus on the unfavorable critiques instead of the good ones? After all, if 29 out of 100 responses rate your organization as excellent, 43 rate it as very good, and 25 rate it as good, you could say that 97 percent of your customers rated you as "good" or better. Frankly, there were probably significantly more than three who were not satisfied with the service. However, only three were blunt enough to say so. You cannot improve your organization by focusing on what you did right. You can only improve it by concentrating on what went wrong and fix it.

Lastly, of the 97 that rated your organization as "good" or better, only a few will mention the good service to their friends, but all three that were unsatisfied will tell anyone who will listen how poorly your organization served them. It's human nature, but it also means that you should do all you can to focus on their concerns. Experience shows that by acting decisively and constructively on your customers' dissatisfaction, you often can turn them into your biggest fans.

Talk to former customers
An interesting poster I saw in a book store pointed out that while customers stop using your services for a variety of reasons, typically about two-thirds do so because of the way they were treated by your organization!

You can't do anything about customers moving to other parts of the country or getting out of the aircraft business or switching to an aircraft you don't service. But, you can sure do something about the way your customers are treated by your organization. The first step is to establish a list of former customers. The next step is to contact them and ask them why they no longer use your organization. Usually, your ex-customers will give an honest answer. If the cause is a poor experience at your organization, get as many details as the customer is willing to give and then investigate internally what happened. As you investigate, remember the goal is not to see who can be blamed for losing the customer. Instead, the goal is to determine what went wrong, what must be done to fix it and try and get the customer to give you one more try.

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