Meeting a customer’s expectations is the cornerstone of good customer service. This is achieved by consistently providing the same satisfactory experience at each encounter. This is true for all businesses, whether a single massage practice or a luxurious, high-end spa.
McDonald’s built their reputation on consistency. They created a formula that regulated every aspect of producing a menu item so for example, when you ordered a 39 cent hamburger you would experience eating a burger with an identical hamburger patty, measurement of ketchup, mustard, pickles and onions on a standard bun every time. They had a system. This system was part of their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Here is another example of a business using SOPs to create consistency for their customers. In an upscale hotel, employees use a checklist to produce the level of service required by their employer. Adherence to the details of the checklist is a condition of employment. The checklist specifies for instance, when to turn down a customer’s bed and how to set up a room, considering the most minute details. When a customer checks into the hotel, personal preferences are collected that include the customer’s favorite newspaper, food and drink, etc.
During the customer’s stay these preferences are acknowledged by the hotel staff by providing personalized special touches. For example, The New York Times being left at the door each morning and their favorite sparkling water stocked in the mini-fridge. Because the hotel uses SOPs, this level of customer service is experienced every time the customer stays at the hotel.
“Meeting a customer’s expectations is the cornerstone of good customer service”
Medical Providers should have customer service practices detailed in their Operation’s Manual as well. Massage Therapists for example, can collect information regarding a patient’s preferences in oils, scents, music, and room temperature. They can note a patient’s preferences in their chart and provide them during each session without the patient’s request. Front office staff should be trained to understand and practice consistency with every aspect of a patient’s experience.
It’s important to only initiate special touches or elevated levels of service that you can reliably deliver. For example, it is nice to offer complimentary hot tea in the waiting room. However, if a customer receives a nice cup of hot tea on their first visit but not on a subsequent visit, they may feel like they received inferior service.
The bottom line is that customers want to know what to expect. Consistency is something that every business can deliver with intention and planning.
The E Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber