November 14, 2018 by Siobhan Climer
Shhhh! We know you came for the secret to customer satisfaction and the moment of truth.
The secret? Well, after prowling the deepest, darkest research catacombs and pestering far too many customer experience experts, we’ve finally collected the complexity into one simple idea. Prepare to be amazed.
That’s it! How do you achieve superior consistency and what does that really mean? That’s the subject of books, businesses, and a lifetime of work for customer service consultants. And today’s blog post.
What Is Customer Satisfaction And The Moment Of Truth?
Let’s start with the definitions. Here are some key customer service terms that, though similar, are nuanced enough to require differentiation:
Customer service – help or advice provided by a company to its customers
Customer experience – the perception customers have of your brand
Customer journey – complete sum of experiences customers have when interacting with your brand
Customer satisfaction (CSat) – a measure of how products and/or services meet or surpass customer expectations
A moment of truth refers to any instance of interaction between a customer and a company that provides an opportunity for the customer to change an impression of the business. While it’s possible there may be a single moment of truth – perhaps the very first television advertisement produced by your company that turns a customer completely away from your products or services – typically your potential and current customers will have several moments of truth while interacting with your brand. The hope, of course, is that every interaction is a moment of truth where you improve upon customer satisfaction.
Why Superior Consistency? Pickles
So, what is this secret to customer satisfaction and why haven’t you heard of it before? You most certainly have. One of the most famous customer service training videos ever made is “Given ‘Em The Pickle” by Bob Farrell. With a book of the same name, Bob lays out the essentials of his Pickle Principle. In brief, Bob Farrell, in his early entrepreneurial days, received a complaint from a customer. The customer started by complimenting the food, atmosphere, and experience at Bob’s restaurants. However, during the customer’s last visit, he was told he could only have an extra pickle if he paid more – even though he’d received a free pickle with every other meal. Unless Bob changed his ways, that customer was never coming back.
Bob was distraught and insisted the customer could have as many free pickles as his heart desired. And this Pickle Principle became the rallying cry of Bob’s business. At the heart of Bob’s principle is the idea that whatever it is you do well (superior), you do every time (consistently) to satisfy the customer. The secret to customer satisfaction, in Bob Farrell’s words, is to “give ‘em the pickle”.
You can view a preview of the training video below:
How Do You Achieve Superior Consistency?
The key is to figure out what your “pickle” is. Do you provide mints on your hotel pillows? Do you offer quarterly business reports to each client? Maybe you offer free coffee and tea at your bank offices or thank customers by name when you return their credit card. Or, maybe it’s more mundane. Whatever it is you do well – whether it’s your dumpling dipping sauce or your personalized customer service – you need to do it well every time.
Once you have found your pickle, you then need to center your customer service and experience strategy around it. The mentality around consistently providing that pickle to your customers, that’s the secret to customer satisfaction. Companies like L.L. Bean, Trader Joe’s, Zappos, Disney – and especially your favorite local Mom and Pop markets – those are the ones where customers love to get what they expect, and usually that’s great service and your company specialty (i.e. No hassle returns and endless shoe testing! Mickey mouse-shaped butter tablets!).
Training, mentorship, and driving home the essential values of your company are necessary to ensuring the message is espoused by every member of your team, from your interns to your CEO. That is part of brand-building, and that requires consistency.
Deliver With Support
The tools you use every day are part of delivering that secret to customer satisfaction. If you seek recognition for a 1-minute response time or less, but your contact center platforms or call center software do not provide the innovation to achieve that goal, you won’t reach it. What’s worse? As soon as you neglect to provide that consistency, you’ve put your customers at a crucial moment of truth where they are not satisfied. Their expectations have not been met.
The secret to customer satisfaction isn’t that complicated, but without the support of your technology, it is nigh impossible to achieve. Working with experts in contact center technologies can help you deliver the pickle to your customers so you can provide the ideal customer experience time and time again.
To find out more about aligning your technology with your customer service initiatives, read our latest free eBook, Customers Drive, You Navigate: Your Contact Center Roadmap to Customer Care Success.
Like what you read?
Mindsight, a Chicago IT services provider, is an extension of your team. Our culture is built on transparency and trust, and our team is made up of extraordinary people – the kinds of people you would hire. We have one of the largest expert-level engineering teams delivering the full spectrum of IT services and solutions, from cloud to infrastructure, collaboration to contact center. Our highly-certified engineers and process-oriented excellence have certainly been key to our success. But what really sets us apart is our straightforward and honest approach to every conversation, whether it is for an emerging business or global enterprise. Our customers rely on our thought leadership, responsiveness, and dedication to solving their toughest technology challenges.
About The Author
Siobhan Climer, Science and Technology Writer for Mindsight, writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. She previously taught STEM programs in elementary classrooms and museums, and writes extensively about cybersecurity, disaster recovery, cloud services, backups, data storage, network infrastructure, and the contact center. When she’s not writing tech, she’s writing fantasy, gardening, and exploring the world with her twin two-year old daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.