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Your customer needs your care

Someone once told me if you don't care for your customers then you are not in business. This is true when people get turned off by a business's bad service and then this causes them not to return . An example of this happened to me the other day when I needed to access a local milk-bar as my car had broken down. I had the intention to buy something out of goodwill if they let me use their phone to call for help. But upon asking to use the phone the service was awful and down right rude. I tried to be gracious but this was not going change this persons mind or attitude. I made the call and left. Did you notice the two things this 'service' did to me? Firstly, I am telling you all about it and if I wanted to be vindictive I could name and shame. Secondly, I will not go back there again. If you think about yourself have you ever been in this position? Then it does not take long for you to start talking to someone about it. What changes need to be implemented to ensure that this lack of caring for your customer does not happen? Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1985) found the following areas are needed to create a good name, and if a business can implement at least some it will assist them in their endeavors.

  1. Competence (Possession of the required skills and knowledge to perform the service: knowledge and skill of the contact personnel, knowledge and skill of the operational support personnel, research capability of the organization)
  2. Courtesy (Politeness, respect, consideration and friendliness of the contact personnel: consideration for the customer's property, clean and neat appearance of public contact personnel)
  3. Credibility (Trustworthiness, believability and honesty. It involves having the customer's best interest at heart: company name, company reputation, personal characteristics of the contact personnel)
  4. Security (Freedom from danger, risk or doubt: physical safety, financial security, confidentiality)
  5. Access (Approachability and ease of contact: Service is easily accessible, waiting time to receive service is not extensive, convenient hours of operation, convenient location of service facility)
  6. Communication (Informing the customers in a language they can understand and listening to them. It may mean that the company has to adjust its language for different consumers: explaining the service itself, explaining how much the service will cost, explaining the trade offs between service and cost, assuring the consumer that the problem will be handled)
  7. Understanding and knowing the customer (Making the effort to understand the customer's needs: understanding customer's specific needs, providing individualized attention, recognizing the customer)
  8. Tangibles (Physical evidence of the service: appearance of physical facilities, tools and equipments used to provide the service, appearance of personnel and communication materials, other customers in the service facility)
  9. Reliability (The ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately: service is performed right at the first time, the company keeps its promises in accuracy in billing, in keeping records correctly and in performing the services at the designated time)
  10. Responsiveness (The willingness and/ or readiness of employees to help customers and to provide prompt service, timeliness of service: mailing a transaction slip immediately, setting up appointments quickly)