The service industry is rising in prominence in the world economy, accounting for huge revenues and employment figures. Even the traditional manufacturing sector has an important service component to it such as the sales experience and after sales services in the auto industry. Providing a positive service experience for the customer can be a challenging task.
Provide a Reliable Service
Companies should strive to deliver on their promises. Reliability is the most important dimension of service quality. It involves both consistency in quality and dependability. Provide the service right the first time.
Instill Confidence in the Customer
Service employees should create trust and confidence in the customer. This requires being knowledgeable, courteous and competent. Service employees should be well trained to meet contingencies. They should be subject to careful selection and grooming to ensure a pleasant encounter for the customer.
Provide Physical Cues
Although “service” is by nature intangible, there can be tangible cues as to what the customer can expect from her encounter. Appearance of the premises, employees and the equipment are important. For example, at a car dealer the signage, parking and the layout can be a deciding factor.
Empathize with the Customer
Give personalized attention to the customer. Customers should feel that their needs are important to the organization. The service provided to each customer should be customized to her specific needs. This requires employee empowerment and leeway.
Responsiveness and Promptness
The nature of “service” precludes serving it off the shelf. Most types of services are produced and delivered there and then in the presence of the customer. It is important to deliver the service when the customer requires it. For example, providing car services at the weekend is convenient for the working customer.