I’ve written about the customer service gap before. The first version referred to the gap between you and your competitors. You want the gap to be wide. It means you are putting yourself further ahead of your competition and picking up market share. The second version of the gap focused on narrowing the distance between […]
I’ve written about the customer service gap before. The first version referred to the gap between you and your competitors. You want the gap to be wide. It means you are putting yourself further ahead of your competition and picking up market share.
The second version of the gap focused on narrowing the distance between you and your customers. The closer you are to your customers, and the more you are meeting their needs, the narrower the gap is between you and your customer. This also puts your competition further away from your customers.
Now comes the third version of the gap, which is the difference between how good a company thinks their service is versus what their customers actually believe they receive.
A number of years ago, I read an interesting report from Bain and Company that found 80% of companies say they deliver superior customer service, yet only 8% of customers agree. That is a surprising, almost staggering, statistic. Is there that big of a disconnect? Is the gap really this big?
There are other studies that have similar findings, although not quite as severe as the numbers from Bain and Company. Even if that number was cut in half, it would still be a problem. In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be a gap. In a truly customer-focused organization, you might even see the gap reversed. In other words, the customer perceives the service they receive from a company is even better than that company’s leadership believes it to be. Maybe that’s because that company won’t settle for anything other than the best, and is always striving to deliver a superior level of service, never settling for mediocrity, never resting on their laurels.
So, what can you do to avoid or eliminate this gap? Here are just a few ideas:
So, don’t fall victim to the customer service gap. What you hope your customers will perceive as good customer service, and how they perceive it, are two different things. Narrow the gap so that what you want your customers to experience is in fact what they experience.
Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at www.Hyken.com. Connect with Shep on LinkedIn.
(Copyright © MMXVIII, Shep Hyken)
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