Service standards represent an important element for customer service excellence, as well as good yield management. They clarify customer and employee expectations, facilitate results-driven management, and promote customer satisfaction. A standard is an “evaluation base” and a “defined excellence degree” wanted by the organization and by customers. A service standard is a reasonable and measurable expectation from the customer, and an honest commitment taken by the service provider, to attain or surpass expectations.
Service standards have two main goals:
When clearly stated, service standards equip the personnel with the right tools to bring customer satisfaction and facilitate engagement.
The principles used to establish service standards directed towards external customers could apply for internal customers as well. Internal customers are those served directly by what we do – employees, departments, teams who receive services directly from colleagues from other divisions in order to, in turn, serve their own customers.
Simply put, an internal customer is any individual who depends on you or count on you to complete a task or function, or to provide information in order for them to do their job.
We are interdependent – excellence in customer service begins in the exchanges between colleagues. The primary objective of standards tied to service is to reach the highest possible level of customer satisfaction. With time, this type of standard improves and increases service quality not only for internal customers, but also to external ones by ricochet, since their needs are satisfied they can offer impeccable service to their own customers in return.
Internal service standards are a commitment to provide products or services of a certain quality level to other teams of our organization. The standards’ elaboration process rests on a clear understanding of what the internal customers expect in terms of level and quality of service.
A service standard is a commitment to reach a measurable performance level which customers (internal or external) can expect within their everyday operations. In order to deliver quality service, we must develop service standards that represent the behaviour which the organization / department / team wishes to adopt in front of its clients. A service standard is:
The following criteria must be considered before and while the standards are being established:
You should have standards that are adapted to your organization / department / team’s size, diversity and complexity.
First, we suggest you establish a small number of standards with emphasis on the most critical aspects of your organization / department / team.
You will need an appropriation period for the notion of service standards. Once they’ll have become an integrated lifestyle within your culture, consider widening the range based on customer feedback. Feedback forms or calls / surveys can be used to check on customer comments.
Once the organization / department / team has defined its service standards, they must be announced and become woven within the organizational culture.
________________________(Name of organization / department / team) aims to provide excellent customer service. Our service standards illustrate our commitment towards __________ (organizational value / principle), __________ (organizational value / principle), and __________ (organizational value / principle). In order to do so, we take the following commitment:
In order to simplify access and use of our service, ____________________ (Name of organization / department / team) vows to:
Making information available and demonstrating our willingness to help are important aspects to our activities. This is why ____________________ (Name of organization / department / team) vows to:
Customers are guaranteed:
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