Everyone recognizes bad service when you get it: the sales clerks who are too busy chatting amongst themselves to help you; the attorney (or name any other professional) who is too busy to respond to an email for weeks; the customer service representative who yells at you that you’re not listening to them, when they are not listening to you… Unfortunately, I’m sure we all can add to this list.
I’m curious, however, about the subtle difference between good and great service. A good housekeeper at a hotel passes you in the hallway and says a friendly “hello” – vs. the great housekeeper at the hotel who says, “Good morning, Mrs. Saul, is there anything you need to make your stay more comfortable?” Of course, the latter requires the hotel to empower the housekeeper to take action to help the traveler. But if the housekeeper could arrange for the right pillow, for example, wouldn’t you think the hotel is the best you’ve ever stayed at?
What about the less obvious examples. I’ll use our profession, architecture and interiors, to demonstrate what is the difference between good service and great service. Let’s assume that two firms or even two project managers/designers do good and competent design work. What makes one of them stand out? One firm/person does the work required, and when completed, lets the client know it’s time to set up a meeting to review the design. The second firm schedules bi-weekly calls to update the client about progress on the project, giving the client an opportunity to express their concerns. Or maybe the firm sends out an email weekly, to update the client about tasks completed, answers needed from the client, any new information that might change the budget or schedule. Which firm/person is offering great service? Which firm helps the client relax in the knowledge that the design professional is working hard on their behalf?
I now sit on the client side of the table for my website, which is being managed by Vimbly Design. Our client manager is Daniel Kasman. We just received the following email from him:
“Giving you an update on unresolved items:
- Blog is fixed on mobile.
- New post for today is up on the website. Will be up on social media shortly.
- Currently in the process of updating 3 portfolios with better quality photos. This will be complete shortly.
- Confirmed for 9:30 am phone call on Tuesday. I will call you.
It really shouldn’t have to take a lot of time to go from good to great. Do you have a few small ideas that will help you provide great service? Please share with us the best practices from you or your service providers.