Customer service cycle: how it works, characteristics and phases.
A summary of the phases of the customer service cycle in companies and businesses.
When a company offers a product or a service, it is obvious that these must meet minimum quality standards. However, how well the product is made or how well the service is provided is not the only thing that influences customer satisfaction.
Aspects such as the treatment of the workers, the waiting time, how clear it is what it means to hire a certain service, among others, are key to understanding not only the fact that the customer pays, but also that he/she will return in the future. It is for this reason that the company must be clear about how its staff should interact with customers and, in case there is something that is not quite right, proceed to improve it.
The customer service cycle is understood as all the steps that occur when a user comes to an organization to obtain a service or product.. This is something that the company must have very well defined to know how customers are treated and to what extent they are satisfied or not.
Here we are going to talk more in depth about what the service cycles are about, as well as explaining the steps to follow to elaborate them and, finally, we put a practical case.
What is the customer service cycle?
The customer service cycle is the whole sequence of actions that customers go through from the moment they make contact with an organization until they get the product or service they are looking for. In other words, it is a continuous chain of events that a customer goes through when contacting a company.
This cycle begins when the customer requests the service or product offered by the company and ends when the customer achieves what he/she was looking for and feels satisfied with the treatment received. and feels satisfied with the treatment received.
During this process, the customer and supplier maintain contacts, which are called "moments of truth". The customer's experience of these moments of truth can be positive or negative, depending on how he or she felt at the time the vendor or service provider treated him or her.
Companies are very aware of how the customer service cycle occurs and, in particular, how the moments of truth occur, since even if the customer has only one bad experience, it can completely ruin the possible sale or offer of the service.
The great usefulness of the customer service cycles is that they allow to know the weaknesses and strengths of an institution in the organization-customer contact, as well as to identify what needs to be improved. identify what needs to be improved..
It should be borne in mind that an organization's service cycle should not be seen as a should not be seen as a simple set of tasks.. It should be understood that what is important in these cycles is how the customer experiences the actions and experiences it in a pleasant way, with the benefit that he/she will request the product or service from the same company again in the future.
Steps to elaborate a service cycle
To define exactly how the customer service cycle takes place in a company, it is necessary to follow a series of steps, with which it will be possible to define the moments that occur during the purchase or offer process:
Identify moments of truth
The first step is to analyze the moments when there is interaction between the customer and the seller, supplier or any other professional offering a given product or service. offering a particular product or service.
To ensure that they have been correctly identified and delimited, it is advisable to seek the professional opinion of analysts, promoters or other specialists in the field of economics that will allow greater precision of the moments to be analyzed.
It is important to establish which are the critical moments that occur during the cycle. A critical moment is one in which aspects such as customer satisfaction and mood can be negatively affected in the event of any type of incident.
Companies must take special care when interacting with their customers at these critical moments.Otherwise, you run the risk of progressively losing users due to poor service.
At this point it is necessary to find out and clarify what is required to improve the service offered..
It is advisable to ask what the organization itself thinks about what is needed to improve services, especially supervisors and managers, who will offer a more holistic view of what is required to improve contact with customers.
3. Action plans
Once it has been clarified what is needed to improve service, it is time to establish strategies for improvement.
At this point The institution's management can be consulted at this point.At this point, the managers of the institution can be consulted, who will draw up the action plans in the most efficient way with the resources available.
4. Prioritization of areas
Once the plans for improvement have been decided, it is necessary to choose which areas require intervention in the short term, either because of their importance within the organization or because they are in a very poor state.
It is advisable to draw up a list in which the items are ordered according to their level of priority. according to their level of priority.
5. Customer satisfaction survey
Last but not least, a customer satisfaction survey should be preparedThe purpose of this survey is to find out clearly what customers think of the organization and how it relates to them.
It is very important to think about what deserves to be asked, and to put it down on paper as unambiguously as possible.
With these tools it will be possible to know the perception that the clientele has about the organization, that is why, when reading the questions, it must be clear what is being asked and, thus, be able to obtain a feedback from the clients that is usable.
Example of a service cycle
The following is an example of a service cycle in a bank. In this cycle, we mention the different moments of truth between the arrival of the customer that occur between the arrival of the customer at the establishment until he leaves it, and all the steps he goes through. In this case, the customer in question has decided to go to the bank because he wants to cash a check:
In the example given here, several critical moments can be analyzed, i.e, moments in which, if there had been some kind of incident, especially serious, they could have spoiled the whole service offered. offered. There were several critical moments. The first was when the first employee told him to take a number. If he had answered inappropriately, indicating that it was obvious what he had to do, it would have been a clearly unpleasant moment of truth for the customer.
The next was the moment when he had to wait. If he had to wait for a long time, the customer might think that the company does not manage its tasks well, or that it does not have enough cashiers for so many customers. This may encourage the customer to consider switching banks.
Finally, there is the moment in which he gives the check and is going to receive the money, being this moment the most critical one.. If the teller had made a mistake in giving the customer the money, giving less than the expected amount, the customer might have thought that the bank was trying to defraud him or her, which is clearly not a desirable situation when visiting a bank.
- He takes public transportation to get to the bank.
- He enters the bank.
- Inside the bank he observes what the process is like when cashing checks.
- Asks a worker what to do to cash the check.
- The employee tells him that he must first take a number in order to be served on a first-come, first-served basis.
- The customer waits until his turn arrives, which may take longer or shorter depending on the number of customers in front of him.
- The customer is called to the counter.
- The customer greets the cashier and presents the check.
- The worker verifies the data on the check.
- The worker asks in which bills the customer wants the money to be given.
- The customer responds and the cashier gives him the money.
- The customer checks the money received, which is the correct amount.
- The customer says goodbye and leaves the bank.
- The customer takes the public transport back home. Bibliographical references:
- Baker, M.J. (2001). Marketing: Critical Perspectives on Business and Management, Vol. 5, Routledge, pp. 3-4.
- Kotler, P.; Keller, K. (2006). Marketing Management. Mexico: Pearson.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)