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What Is Your Service Advantage?
  part 1

Just what is the Service Advantage? Let's examine that question from two perspectives.


The advantage to your organization of having service that customers find distinctive.


Just what it is that creates outstanding service in the customer's mind.

In the last ten years, a number of organizations have studied customer behavior and quality service. Their findings show the importance of customer service in winning and keeping customers. Let's take a look at some of the research

According to John Franco, former president of Xerox Learning Systems, eight of the top ten reasons customers give for buying a specific product or service have to do with the delivery of customer service. Things like responsiveness, technical knowledge or skill, and professional attitude.

British Airways' found that friendly staff was twice as important as operational factors, like food service and speed of check-in, for generating goodwill with their customers.

The Strategic Planning Institute found that companies considered to be service leaders can charge 10% more for their products or service than average companies. They also tend to grow twice as fast and are 10 times more profitable than companies at the bottom of the service ranking.

And when 600 senior executives were asked what would be the most critical factor in the success of their business the top answer was service quality.

Poor service also has an effect.

A Forum Corporation study found that 7 out of 10 customers said they left a business because of poor service - not price or quality.

And when the Small Business Administration asked sales people why customers stopped buying, their response was because prices were too high. Yet, when the customers were asked, "Why did you stop doing business with a particular company?," only 9% even mentioned price. 68% said it was because of indifferent treatment by an employee.

Obviously, there is an advantage to having a distinctive level of quality service. Yet, more than 50% of customers rank the service they receive as "only fair" or "poor."

Just what is quality service to the customer?

What makes it distinctive ? When it comes to defining quality service the only perception that really counts is the customer's, because it's the only one that will determine their decisions -their decision on whether to continue to do business with you or not.

To discover how customers define quality service-let's use your own experiences as customers. All of us have been customers somewhere and experienced good service and poor service. Let's use those experiences to begin defining quality service.

Let's start by examining situations where you as the customer have experienced quality service.

Think of an experience where you were the customer and someplace you did business created a positive impression on you. They created a service advantage in how they treated you.

NEXT: Personal Positive Customer Experience



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