If all companies effectively compete on service, the key differentiator then lies in the service management model and the ability to execute it. Here’s why the service management or execution typically fails.
In general, service employees say that they prefer to provide excellent service rather than poor service. Social psychology has even provided ample evidence which shows that even when nobody is watching, people want to service and help each other to the best of their ability. It seems to be a human characteristic that people want to provide others with good service.
Even though many companies value putting customers first or delivering excellent customer experience, many still struggle to deliver even just a basic service of decent quality.
The challenge of delivering excellent service
One of the reasons why this is so comes from the very nature of service. Namely that it is quite intangible, that it typically is produced and consumed simultaneously and that the customer is involved in both the creation and the delivery.
The fact that customers evaluate the service delivered on basis of their subjective perceptions complicates the evaluation of service quality even more.
That put aside, there are four common typical reasons why companies tend to deliver excellent service.
As visualized in our graphic above, there are multiple reasons why companies fail to deliver excellent service.
Generally, companies that fail to deliver excellent service are not on top of customer expectations, fail to match performance to service promises, do not deliver on their own service standards or fail to manage service designs, processes or systems.
The importance of people, process, leadership and culture
The difference between companies that can and do deliver excellent service versus those who struggle to do this lies within people, process, leadership and culture.
Excellent service is delivered through a meeting/interaction between people. Great service companies do not only have great people, they also have great processes for how to induct, introduce, train, manage, develop and promote these people.
Moreover, they have a system and a culture of processes that are founded on a great respect for human character and a belief that an individual can do wonders if they are given the right tools and management processes.