Most professionals know exactly how to execute their skills and deliver a high quality product. But what about providing a service to their clients? How much formal training do professionals receive in understanding and executing the highest level of service? Do they really understand its value and importance?
I’ve always been a strong believer in prioritising service for 3 simple reasons, and they all relate to the client.
Firstly, in many instances, clients don’t have an intimate understanding of our skills or how we go about our craft, therefore have limited ability to assess what we do. When it comes to service however, they have all the knowledge required to assess and evaluate our performance. Everyone knows what they want when it comes to service.
Secondly, in professional services, comparisons of product are very hard to determine. Rarely are two situations the same. Comparing service is much easier. An unreturned phone call or broken commitment can be easily related and assessed against others.
Lastly, poor service can’t be rectified. Returning a phone call too late or not delivering on an undertaking is irreversible. Rectifying an incomplete or sub-standard product can be fixed and made good later.
So as professionals, once we understand the importance of service, we can then afford it the attention and priority needed. Well, almost.
There is one key ingredient in implementing the highest level of service, and that centres around the client’s expectations. Without effective management on what is expected as good service, meeting those expectations is extremely difficult. As we all know, unrealistic expectations can never be met. The key to good service is not delivering quicker or working harder, it’s managing the client’s perception of what is realistic and achievable.
So next time you have a time commitment that can’t be met because the product isn’t ready, what will you do? Will you let the client down on service and deliver the finished product late, or will you deliver the unfinished product on time?
The real answer is; you should have agreed earlier with the client that the product would take longer to deliver.