‘Truths’ about customer service at your company happen 24 hours a day, at any moment.

This is critical to consider as in our digital age, service experiences are no longer just between friends.  As such, when we have an opportunity to provide our customers with service, we better make sure we strive for 5 stars.

Every moment we have an opportunity to provide a customer service, they are rating the experience from terrible to excellent.  This is called a ‘moment of truth’ about the experience.

In many industries, customers would rather have no moments of direct interaction.  For example, do you bank online?  Why?  This is an important question to reflect on.  If you dig down to the answer, many of us may come up with: “I don’t have to deal with anyone!”  Consider your customers may be no different.  As such, when they need to interact with your employees you want it to be an excellent experience.

The great news is that customer service is highly controllable.  It starts by analyzing how you treat each other internally — what are the moments of truth for an employee?

The RATER Customer Service model is a good one to use for rating both internal and external customer service.

Take this little test: How would you rate your level of internal customer service – how your employees treat each other?  Rate yourself on a scale of terrible to excellent on the following questions:

  1. R: How reliable are you? Employees can count on each other, get consistent service and things are done right the first time.
  2. A: How much assurance is there? Employees have strong relationships and trust others are going to do their work and take ownership of problems.
  3. T: Do tangibles match expectations? The final product or service provided internally matches expectations and furthermore, systems, processes, the website and policies enable that.
  4. E: Is empathy part of interactions? Employees take the time to understand and appreciate one another.  Self-interest, ego and silo mentality is rare and there is a collaborative tone in how work is done.
  5. R: How responsive are you? Employees respond in a timely manner to requests and tasks.  They do this through setting expectations, agreeing to boundaries and decide on and follow service levels that are agreed to.

Generally speaking, if things are working well internally in all these areas, your customers should be happy with you.

We have all had experiences where there is clear evidence that the lack of service we receive is due to internal challenges at the company.  Yes, we may deal with people that are just grumpy, and the question to ask is: “Why are they?”  It may very well be due to internal issues or people being in the wrong role.

Internal positive customer service is critical to business success.  Do you know the truth about your customer service?

Kwela’s Customer Relations workshop addresses gaps in customer service both internally and externally. By analyzing what customer experience means in your business, we can provide tools and behaviours that enable service excellence.  Leaders and employees become better positioned to make internal shifts in service that have ripples effect in creating great moments of truth.

Glen Sollors
Senior Consultant