Monday, January 28, 2008

Pay Attention To The Peak Experience and Sign Off.

Bruce Tempkin over at Customer Experience Matters makes a few interesting points about creating memorable customer service. There are two aspects he points to:(1) "peak experiences" and (2) sign off. I think some banks pay attention to this in that they are delighted to call you and tell you "that loan has been approved" etc. It's an opportunity to push the happy moment up a notch and make it memorable. The sign off to a job is akin to getting off the stage, having hit the last high note, but it is just so messed up in a lot of companies that I just can't understand what they are thinking. Perhaps people just don't understand that there will be an inevitable emotional experience involved in the interaction with your service. If you are handing over cash for any service, it is normal to feel a little hesitant to hand over cash, our instinct is to hold onto our resources. This is one of the psychological reasons that people pay on their credit card; it reduces feelings of guilt because their is no immediate experience of loss. I've mentioned this before, but my brother in law provided a service where he went over to the UK to pick up cars he had bought for clients, and then he would arrange all the paper work, number plates, and park it in your drive. Neat service. But what his clients commented on was that he would wash the car thoroughly inside and out in their driveway, and he left all their documents in a neat leather folder. I am sure that many organisations have empirical metrics that need to be managed day in day out in order to hit Customer Service targets, i.e. we will phone you within 12 hours of your application to let you know where it is in the process, but how many companies track the "emotional response" of customers, or take these measure around times/interactions where their is the opportunity to enable a peak experience? There are many instances where thinking about "leaning over to the customer" and asking a question, or making an offer would be welcome. Just received your credit card in the mail? Chances are you are happy to have it, so why not follow up with a call and ask is there anything more you need to know about the service, or posting them a parcel with a genuinely pleasing gift that is related to their specified interests? Here are some interesting articles on "happiness" and what delivers happiness....ah...mmmm.... "experiences deliver happiness"....

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