Getting it right the very first time is a comparatively easy job as compared to getting it right every time. It underlines the importance of consistency and commitment. And that’s what, in a nutshell; the service industry is all about.
To be a successful service provider, it’s crucial to solicit some tough questions (before the end user starts making noise), discover the answers within and cater to the customer needs accordingly. With customer expectations increasing everyday and the level of competition reaching newer heights, it is absolutely necessary to chalk out a foolproof strategy and revisit the same from time to time.
Dealing with intangible products makes it tricky in the service industry
The ‘intangible’ factor makes all forms of service a bit dicey. The most difficult in the service industry is to convince a customer buy a product which cannot be seen, held or felt. It is intangible for example, dealing with banks or investing money in mutual funds. Mutual fund is not a physical product, it is just a term. How do your convince a customer to put money on a product which is a concept?
The Human Concept
The involvement of humans in the service industry makes it very subjective. While some professionals are superb in their jobs whereas others are not. Also, human beings may not display the same level of energy, expertise and enthusiasm under all circumstances and situations. A lot also depends on their personal and professional challenges or achievements and state of mind. The degree of enthusiasm and energy keep fluctuating across industries. The enthusiasm with which a waiter serves food or a banker attends to clients in the morning is bound to plunge as the day progresses.
Customer is the key
Getting into the skin of the customers is very crucial while providing any service. Finding out the “how, what and why” of customer preferences is half the game won. That eases out the process of delivery. A good example can be the local salon, which knows the type of haircut or the after shave desired by its customers. That helps in building long term and sustainable relationships. Based on diverse customer needs, mobile service providers launch a variety of talk plans.
It requires a proven track record to attain service excellence, which for many organizations is a mirage. And that’s what makes brands. Positive word of mouth works wonders and can go on a long way in publicizing the name. To recall an incident, a renowned chain of hotels once gifted one of my friends a shirt because the waiter had spilled tomato soup on the one that he was wearing.
Any sort of dissatisfaction within the customers can lead to service disaster. To recuperate out of that situation is quite a big deal and the process is termed as service recovery. It is more of realignment, no less than a challenge. Customers missing connecting flights (due to internal delay of airlines) being treated lavishly (stay at posh hotels, discount coupons, etc.) is a classic example of service recovery.
Service delivery is a perfect blend of art and science as it involves more than just catering to the wants; it’s a deep-rooted complex study covering facets outside the purview of regular marketers.
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