When do you get that vital question? Most of the time it is when you meet a service advisor at the counter or desk; isn’t it? That is, of course, good and even necessary to get served, but it’s really too late. Let me explain.
What you want is that question put as soon as possible, at the very beginning of the customer journey. And at the very end as well. The reason for asking the question at the end of the journey is very different from the one in the beginning but equally important.
Every customer is different. Sometimes a customer is looking for a quick answer to a simple question. Other times, the right service means being able to spend more time with a customer. So why handle them in the same way? If you ask the question at the first touchpoint, i.e. arriving at the local city hall, tax office or passport authority, you are able to segment the customers and their needs and respond to that specific need. It means that you not only will be able to give the right priority to the customer, but you are also able to deliver the best possible service by matching him with the best-skilled staff. What more is, you do have not only the best staff to serve but also the well-prepared staff.
There is more to it.
You can even avoid customers to get in the process for those who shouldn’t be there in the first place. For example, you don’t want to get a customer to wait for a service that can’t be delivered. Let’s say you want a building permit for an extension to your house. You need to bring the drawings of the house; otherwise, you can’t get the permit, and the whole visit is a waste of time. So the question “How can I help” should again be put at the first touchpoint of the process, to identify the true need of the customer and by that avoiding the customer to wait for nothing.
The question should also be put at the end of the journey when you’ve had the service delivered. Well, it should be slightly re-phrased, from “How can I help” to “How can I help next time in a better way”?
This is, of course, to drive improvement, short and long term. After all, even though the customers of public services (citizens) do not often have more choices of how, when and where they receive service, they still are demanding customers. They want the best possible service for their tax money.
And for that, you need to identify “How you can help” – long and short term.
Download the presentation with four customer experience quotes and be inspired!
Today customers are in power and business success is based on how well companies can meet customers demands and expectations. Customers have many choices and it is critical to make their experiences as simple, consistent, and relevant as possible as they pass through their customer journey.