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SERVICE EXCELLENCE IS A NEVER ENDING JOURNEY

New TipsIt is said that Service excellence is a never ending journey. In effect there are many organizations which work hard to achieve high standards of service excellence, have elaborate ceremonies to  celebrate those achievements, but unfortunately, do not put into place strategies to maintain the high quality of service achieved. The result is that customers  having grown to expect a certain service quality become dissatisfied. In addition success can be detrimental to a company for success can lead to apathy.

For the last number of years I have dealt with one particular firm for my eye glasses. I have found their service to be excellent. Yesterday I realized that I needed to change my lens because over time they have become scratched. I went to the outlet and inquired about the possibility of having the lens polished. I was told that it had to be changed  or that the coating could be removed. Well I thought that if you can remove the coating, you should also be able to put a new coating.  Nevertheless, I was willing to change the lens.

The attendant asked me when was the last time I had my eyes checked. I really did not remember since I have not seen any discernible deterioration in my vision.   I asked for an appointment only to discover that it would be a week or more before I could get an appointment. Fortunately, someone had cancelled and I was given an appointment for next Monday.  Only after that was done was I asked my name and whether I had the test done at the outlet. My card was retrieved and  it showed that I had my last test in 2004.  I really wanted an appointment this week. I decided to test how much this company known for its customer service excellence really wanted my business. I told the attendant that I would try another company in Centre City Mall. The attendant told me that if someone cancelled today I would be called. What was interesting is that little or no attempt was made to convince me to stay with the company. I realized that this company was beginning to become a victim of its own success. In addition I used to receive from this company a reminder of my test after two years. I have not received that advice  for  a  while. By the way I preferred my preferred outlet because they are located in a mall and open after 5.00pm.

 As I left my preferred outlet I called another popular outlet. They were about to be closed. I asked for an appointment and was told next week.  What is interesting is that I had to ask whether there was a walk in service. Only then was I told that there was but I would have to come in before a certain hour for the morning service  and before a certain hour for the afternoon service. I wonder k What is most interesting is that I discovered that it takes between five and fifteen days to get a pair of glasses. I could not believe this! In fact it was like a take it or leave it attitude.  In Tampa last week I could have gotten it in one day. They even offered  a one hour service.

Service excellence is a journey. Customers expectations are now higher than ever. Sometimes you wonder why when foreign companies enter our business space they are welcomed at the expense of our local providers. The answer is service.

By the way all of this happened in Chaguanas.  But again  the market is booming, there is a lot of business. The companies can get away with such attitudes. If tomorrow I have a different choice, I would embrace it.

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