BSBOPS304 Deliver and Monitor a Service to Customers
In this unit you will learn to;
Identify customer needs
Deliver a service to customers
Evaluate customer service delivery
The delivery of quality customer service is, without question, the most important aspect of any business that wants to be successful. While a good location, product range and well trained staff are, certainly, up there in terms of importance, none of these things matter if customers will not do business with you.
Delivering a Service
What does “deliver a service” actually mean?
Service can take place in a number of ways. You might be serving customers in a shop or in an office; you might be dealing with them online, or within a specific industry such as transport or hospitality. Then, too, delivering service might take the form of selling products or services to them, dealing with their requests or simply providing them with information. Whatever the case, the delivery of service should be aimed at providing customer satisfaction.
Delivery of excellent customer service, however, is more than simply having staff smile, say hello and be courteous and friendly to customers. It is a matter of having set and well thought out policies and strategies. Without these service may be subject to fluctuation – great one day and substandard the next. Organisational standards, then, are an essential aspect in a consistently high level of customer service delivery.
What are standards?
“In the absence of any clearly defined, communicated and understood standard of performance, whatever the worker does is right.”
Look at the above statement; in the absence of any clearly defined, communicated and understood standard of performance the worker does not know what is expected of them and the work they do may fall far below an acceptable level. Who is at fault here – the worker or the company, for not telling the worker exactly how the job is to be performed? You cannot place blame on a person for not doing the job correctly – if there is no procedure or standard to follow.
The development of a standard can be a complex and long process involving government agencies and industry bodies and associations. For purely internal organisational purposes, however, and at its very simplest, a standard is a statement that describes the level of performance that staff must work to in order to be competent in a given task or work aspect. The establishment of workplace standards will give staff guidance on how they are to behave, and the benchmarks to be achieved at all times. This will then lead to a consistently high level of service; one that customers can come to expect and rely on and one that will enhance the organisation’s reputation for quality.
So standards ensure:
that the company’s products or services are of a consistently high quality.
that the workers know exactly what they have to do, in order to perform their duties correctly.
that there is no confusion in the workplace at any level, as to what needs to be done and how it has to be done.
Identifying customer needs
The cornerstone of any successful business is the knowledge and understanding of its customer’s needs; knowing what, when and how to provide the products and services they expect. Competition for ever greater shares of the customer’s disposable income means that if you cannot provide what customers want, then there are many other organisations that can. It is therefore essential to the success of your organisation that you are continually in touch with, and researching, what your customer’s needs and expectations of your organisation might be.
Who is the Customer?
Before we look at identifying customer needs and expectations, however, it is useful to first have an idea of who customers are as they are not all the same and, so, should not all be approached in the same way. Customers can include:
Corporate/account customers – These are individuals or organisations who do business with you often enough to have an account. This means they can order products or services and will pay for these at a later date – against an invoice that you send them. These types of customers are an excellent, ongoing source of income.
Customers from other organisations – this type of business is commonly referred to as B2B (business to business). Customers of this type could be:
Suppliers to your organisation who provide you with raw materials, products, or services you need to produce or provide your own services and products
Other organisations who need your products or services to produce or provide their own
External customers – The external customer is someone who pays your organisation money in exchange for products or services, and ultimately makes your pay cheque possible. External customers have choice, and if they don’t like your product or service can take their business elsewhere. Great (external) customer service creates customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and customer retention.
Internal customers – An internal customer can be anyone within your organisation. An internal customer can be a co-worker or another department. To create positive internal customer service, all departments work together cooperatively, agree on processes and procedures, and negotiate expectations. Like gears meshing in sync interdependent business units within the organisation, meet each other’s needs, work productively together to meet common goals, and deliver high quality products and service to the external customer. The focus on developing effective internal customer service helps organisations cut costs, increase productivity and improve interdepartmental communication and cooperation. Excellent service to the external customer is dependent upon healthy internal customer service practices.
Meeting the needs and expectations of customers will also depend on the type of customer you are dealing with. Not all people are the same and will therefore not need or expect the same things. Customers fall into a variety of categories and some of the things to be considered when dealing with them are shown below, but remember not to make generalisations about any type of customer – these are a guideline only……