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How to improve your company’s customer service in the post-recession environment

William Crozier, Flowers Gallery

Providing good customer service is the subject under discussion in an article by Dave Dougherty and Ajay Murthy in Harvard Business Review.

Research carried out by Dougherty and Murthy shows that customers have two key concerns when they contact a company for service:

  • Does the frontline employee have the necessary knowledge?
  • Can the problem be resolved on the first call?

However, those factors are rarely uppermost in the minds of customer-service managers.

The authors suggest that managers can obtain a more thorough understanding of customers' experience by drawing on information from customer satisfaction surveys, behavioural data from self-service channels and recorded conversations between agents and customers.

Managers should measure the proportion of problems resolved on first contact, and make necessary adjustments to address the failures. The aim should also be to ensure that interactions between customers and frontline employees are of a consistently high quality.

What Service Customers Really Want
Dave Dougherty and Ajay Murthy
Harvard Business Review