When a company offers a product or a service, it is obvious that it must meet minimum quality standards. However, the good that the product is made or the good that the service is rendered are not the only ones that influence a customer’s satisfaction.
Aspects like processing workers, waiting time, being clear about what it means to hire a certain service, among others, are key to understanding not only that the customer is paying, but also getting back to a service. to come up. It is for this reason that the company should be clear on how its staff should interact with customers and, in case something goes wrong, proceed to improve it.
The customer service cycle is understood as all the stages that occur when a user goes to an organization to have a service or a product.. This is something that the company must have very well defined to know how the customers are treated and how satisfied they are or not.
Here we will talk in more detail about what service cycles are, as well as the steps to develop them and, finally, we will put a case study.
What is the customer service cycle?
The customer service cycle is the complete sequence of actions that customers go through from the time they come into contact with an organization until they get the product or service they are looking for. Simply put, it is a continuous chain of events that a customer goes through when they contact a business.
this cycle it starts when the customer requests the service or product offered by the company and ends when the customer gets what they were looking for and feels satisfied with the treatment received.
During this process, the customer and the supplier maintain contact, known as “moments of truth”. The customer’s experience of these moments of truth can be positive or negative, depending on how you felt when the salesperson or service provider treated you.
Companies pay close attention to how the customer service cycle is given and, most importantly, how the moments of truth are given, because while it is just a bad experience that the customer may perceive , it can completely ruin the sale or eventual offer of the service.
The great utility of customer service cycles is that they allow us to know the weaknesses and strengths of an institution when making contact with the customer organization, as well as identify what needs to be improved.
It should be noted that the service cycle of an organization it should not be seen as a simple set of tasks. It should be understood that the important thing in these cycles is to know how the customer experiences the actions and experiences them in a pleasant way, with the advantage of asking the product or service again from this same company in the future.
Steps to develop a service cycle
To delimit exactly how the customer service cycle unfolds in a company, it is necessary to follow a series of steps, with which it will be possible to define the moments that take place during the buying or offering process:
1. Identify moments of truth
In the first step, they are analyzed the moments when there is interaction between the customer and the seller, supplier or any other professional that offers a particular product or service.
To ensure that they have been correctly identified and delimited, it is advisable to use the professional advice of analysts, promoters or other specialists in the field of economics which will allow greater precision of the moments to analyze.
It is important to determine which critical moments occur during the cycle. A critical moment is a time when aspects such as customer satisfaction and humor can be negatively affected in the event of an incident.
Businesses need to be especially careful when interacting with their customers at these critical timesOtherwise, you run the risk of gradually losing users due to poor service provision.
At this point it needs to be discovered and clarified what is necessary to be able to improve the service offered.
It is advisable to ask what the organization itself thinks about what is needed to improve services, especially supervisors and bosses, who will offer a more holistic view of what is needed to achieve better customer contact.
3. Action plans
Once it has been clarified what is needed to improve service, it is time to establish improvement strategies.
That much you can consult the directors of the establishment, Those who will develop the action plans in the most efficient way with the resources available.
4. Prioritization of zones
Once improvement plans are decided, the areas that require short-term intervention should be chosen, either because of their importance within the organization or because they are much improved.
It is advisable to make a list in which the elements are sorted according to their priority level.
5. Customer satisfaction survey
Last but not least, a satisfaction survey must be carried out, With the intention of being able to clearly realize what customers think of the organization and how it relates to them.
It is very important to think about what is worth asking and to put it on paper in the least ambiguous way possible.
With these tools, it will be possible to know the perception that customers have of the organization, that is why, when reading the questions, it should be clear what is requested and thus be able to obtain feedback from customers who are usable.
Example of duty cycle
Below we present what the duty cycle would look like in a bank. In this cycle, the different moments of truth are mentioned which intervene between the arrival of the customer in the establishment until his departure, and all the stages that he goes through. In this case, the customer in question has decided to go to the bank because he wants to cash a check:
- The customer decides that he will go to the bank to cash a check.
- Take public transport to get to the bank.
- Enter the bank.
- Inside the bank, he observes the process of collecting checks.
- Ask a worker what to do to cash the check.
- The employee tells him that he must first collect a number in order to be picked up in the order of arrival.
- The customer waits for his turn to arrive, which can last more or less depending on the number of customers in front of him.
- The client is called to access the window.
- The customer greets the cashier and presents the check.
- The worker checks the details of the control.
- The worker asks which banknotes he wants to receive money on.
- The customer answers and the cashier gives him the money.
- The customer checks the money received, which is the correct amount.
- The customer says goodbye and leaves the bank.
- The customer takes public transport back home.
In the example presented here, several critical moments can be analyzed, i.e. times when if there had been some kind of incident, particularly serious, they could have damaged the entire service Free. The critical moments have been diverse. The first was when the first worker told him he needed to pick up a number. If he had responded inappropriately, telling her that what she needed to do was obvious, it would have been a moment of truth that was clearly unpleasant for the client.
The next was when he had to wait. If the customer had to wait a long time, he might have thought that the company was not managing its tasks well or that it did not have enough ATMs for so many customers. This can encourage the customer to consider switching banks.
finally it is when he gives the check and receives the money, that moment is most critical. If the cashier had been wrong to give the customer money, by giving him less than the expected amount, the customer might have thought that the bank was trying to defraud him, which is clearly not a desirable situation when he goes to a bank.
- Baker, MJ (2001). Marketing: Critical Business and Management Perspectives, Vol. 5, Routledge, pages 3-4
- Kotler, P .; Keller, K. (2006). Business management. Mexico: Pearson.