07 Sep Service Measures
If that which is measured improves, then we really need to find a better way to measure customer service.
Mystery shopping is often too robotic to measure what really matters, and more qualitative research can be very expensive. Meanwhile, customer feedback forms are just too time-consuming. You have to feel pretty strongly about something before you’ll fill in a form, or you need to be the strange kind of person who likes filling out forms – making results less representative.
The Economist Intelligence Unit recently reported that South African grocery retailer Pic ‘n Pay is trialing a button at each check-out till, allowing customers to provide instant feedback on the service they receive: happy face for good service, sad face for bad.
We can imagine some challenges to this simplistic approach: the lack of contextual data, the temptation for service staff to pressure customers, the need to protect staff from malicious or prank use, and so on. But you could also argue that solving these challenges is secondary to the real point.
Simply installing the button may be enough to improve service in many environments, almost regardless of how the data is used afterwards, because people need to know what matters. Asking customers to assess service at every interaction makes it clear that service at every interaction matters.
A friend pointed out that Chinese immigration authorities have installed similar buttons at Shanghai airport, allowing travellers to rate the service they received from each immigration officer. This says to visitors and to staff that, perhaps surprisingly, Chinese immigration sees itself as a service as much as an authority. That’s a worldview that would transform some Australian government ‘services’ and a few of our retailers.
If we could install this technology anywhere, where would it do most good?