The customer places a lot of importance on their time, peace of mind, hard earned money and their ego. They value each of these, separately and collectively, more than they do the commodity or the service a company provides.
The following example is the kind of experience every person has had atleast once, in some form or the other. I was at a garment store to replace a shirt of the wrong size, erroneously packed at the store. It was a holiday and the store had a sale; I was asked to wait. After about fifteen minutes I reminded the person behind the counter. She gave me a sharp look and raised an eyebrow towards the line of shoppers in front of her. After another 15 minutes she asked one of her colleagues to get a shirt for me. He fetched it; she thrust it in a bag, pushed it across the counter without looking at me and went back to attending another customer.
I had got my shirt in the right size, but I wasn’t happy. Why? Because, my time had been wasted waiting, I was ignored as I wasn’t buying anything, I felt slighted by her attitude and, bottom line, my ego was bruised.
We all hold ourselves in high esteem and cannot tolerate that standard being compromised by anyone. While I got what I wanted, my satisfaction level was very low, because the person attending to me had not perceived ‘my value’.
It is this value perception that is the primary value proposition that a company must aim to fulfill. Some companies do this. Many fall short. But by and large neither manages this perception consciously because customer value is viewed from the myopic perspective of their own commodity and service, and any fall out of managing the customer’s ‘my value’ is incidental.
It is necessary to have a distinct aspect within the service strategy that manages this value perception of the customer. Because even the most impeccable service will still not fetch you the kind of satisfaction for the customer, as managing their ‘my value’ perception will.
Recognize the customer’s most important perception and raise the bar on satisfaction.
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