Good Service Design Breeds Satisfied, Loyal Customers

From Mark Eberman post, A Consistent Experience Is a Better Experience: Service Design on Micro Ecommerce :

“Service design, viewed narrowly, is crafting each service your company provides so that the customer’s experience is a good one. All services should be designed experiences—nothing is unconsidered, and the needs and desires of all audiences are front and center. Instead of serving only the needs of business, a balance must be sought between business requirements and consumer desires.”

Executing service design properly results in a consistent brand experience no matter how a customer chooses to interact with your company. Consistently good experiences lead to increased customer loyalty, and are a strong differentiator between your company and your competitors. With all other things being equal, I’ll spend my money with a company that delivers a consistently good experience over the one that’s cold and impersonal, confusing or disdainful of my concerns.”

Service design is a continuum, from companies that get every interaction wrong on up to companies that get it right from end to end. All companies sit somewhere on the service design spectrum, and it’s unlikely that you’ll jump from the left to the right of the dial in one go. The important thing is not making a huge splash and solving all your issues at once. The important thing is to always work to move the needle in the right direction. Any positive changes you can make will have a direct impact on customer satisfaction, loyalty and eventually your ability to compete.”

Some things that can move the needle:

  • Learn, understand and respect the needs and concerns of your customers. Always compare your actions to customer needs, whether you’re standing at the front desk or designing a marketing strategy.

  • Have a plan. Focus on the easy fixes (which quickly and cheaply repair and improve relationships) first and then set goals to address places where you are farthest off the mark.

  • Keep your promises, both the overt and implied ones. Honor guarantees quickly and courteously, and present the type of experience your marketing materials imply.

  • Work toward a streamlined and consistent experience across all service touch points.

  • Create loyalty and delight your visitors with unexpected value or performance. Simply meeting basic expectations will only stave off bad reviews. It is the extra details and going beyond the expected that will spark loyalty and make your customers your best promoters.