- Customer Needs
- Analysing Your Customers
- Customer Service Standards
To be able to provide good customer service you need to know what the needs of your customers are.
This ability to understand is central to customer service and shows how customer service should commence with and ear rather than a mouth. Listen to your customers!So, let us have a look at customers.
Industries vary in customers and customer interaction. Some industries can be quite casual and friendly while other industries may have a more professional or even reserved level of contact. Your local hairdresser or many cafes are relaxed in the way they interact with clients.
Below is a list of customer groups. Try to relate these groups to multimedia design. So, brainstorm what these clients may be for a multimedia designer. I will post the brainstorm from class.
- ‘Purchasers of services’
- Suppliers of goods and services
- Contractors providing goods and services
- Members of the general public who make contact with the organisation, such as prospective purchasers of services
- Potential funding bodies
- Co‑workers, peers and fellow frontline managers
- Board members
Let us look at customer needs. Customer needs can be looked at in a context. They may be related to:
- Accuracy of information
- Advice or general information
- Further information
- Making an appointment
- Purchasing organisation’s products and services
- Returning organisation’s products and services
- Specific information.
- Write down a context this may happen in, a location or point of contact (online, in a shop in person).
- Please create examples of customer needs attached to each. Example: Complaints – A customer wants to be listened to , wants to reach a certain outcome and a customer would like an apology or explanation.
- Discuss in class.
If you look at the diagram above you can see that customer needs can be classified further into value needs, psychological needs and performance needs.
Once you understand the customer needs of your target audience you will be able to respond to these.
Analysing Your Customers
What options do you have as a business owner or service provider to learn about the needs of your target audience? Below are some suggestions on how to receive the information:
- customer feedback form
- customer satisfaction surveys
- quality assurance data
- conducting interviews
- making recommendations
- obtaining management decisions
- questioning and asking directly
- seeking feedback to confirm understanding
- summarising and paraphrasing.
A multimedia business can, as part of their quality control, make a feedback question or survey a recommended procedure for their staff. ‘Before a project is complete you need to ask the client for specific feedback.’
See my comment at the bottom of every post as another example.
Customer Service Standards
A business needs to plan to meet customer requirements. When you have a contract with a client most aspect of customer needs will be specifically stated (eg: ‘design a website that allows sales and promotion of sport equipment… due date:…).
The delivery of products and services needs to be aligned with the business plan of an organisation. You need to clarify what standard of product and service quality you want to reach.
The larger the organisation the harder it is to inform everyone of the customer service standards. A good way to set customer service standards and to make sure everyone in the organisation is well aware of it is to make it part of the culture of the business.
It helps to discuss the customer service standards at every meeting. Posters are another great way to ensure that staff know about them. See example below:
Complete the questions in the attached assignment sheet and create a basic Customer Service Standard list or poster for a café in the CBD or a multimedia business that specialises in Web Design and Instructional Videos, and online resources.
Include 10 points in the poster that that business should focus on. Make it all up!
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