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Four steps to improving customer service

Download the free white paper "Four steps to improving customer service" from PQ SystemsWith a variety of approaches to process improvement, including programs and regimens that have come and gone without a trace, a new generation of business owners, educators, and healthcare providers is ready to get to the heart of improvement and to understand the basics about quality of products and services.

Unlike earlier generations, they do not have time to take extensive courses or attend multiple conferences in their quest for this understanding. So let’s boil down the essentials of quality improvement, beginning with the customer’s experience.

We’ve all been victims of poor customer service. Recorded telephone responses, including the interminable “Press 1 for sales...” to “Press 2 for service” announcements, or the softly uttered assurance that “Your call is important to us…” that precedes a 15-minute wait on hold, or the unanswered letter to customer service—all have become routine in our business lives. Everyone has a horror story when it comes to customer service, it seems, although the old “Complaint” window has long ago vanished from our experience, aside from its appearance in cartoons.

The quality of a customer’s experience with an organization begins to be evaluated at the first interface between customer and provider, but the provider often does not even realize that an interface has taken place. It is common knowledge that 95% of customers who have had a negative experience will never complain about it. Further, it is easy to view the disgruntled customer as just that…someone who will complain about anything.

As the American Society for Quality points out, “unless your company offers a unique product or service, your major competitive advantage is high quality service. Quality service results in repeat and additional purchases from existing customers.” And further, “The Harvard Business Review reports that customers who experience poor service quality often stop doing business with the offending companies without warning or complaint. On average, 40 percent of customers with poor experiences do not return.”

Four steps to improving customer service serves as a primer for improvement for a new generation. This white paper describes four quality improvement steps to providing better customer service. These four steps can help you maintain your customer’s loyalty and improve your overall business. (10 pages)

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