If you had the perfect customer, what would he or she be like? For example, you may think that customers with a great attitude are rare in the field service world, but are they really? As consultants, we often lead our clients through a Vision Workshop called “The Perfect Customer.” The purpose of this workshop is to open up the discussion and think creatively about what could be possible in a perfect world with perfect customers. This leads to a discussion regarding potential new services, communication enhancements, and other topics that could work perfectly every time, for your perfect customer. Most companies find that this exercise helps to define the behaviors you really want from customers and, in order to get these behaviors, what level of service you must provide.
Conducting the workshop
Let’s start with a profile of the perfect customer. The Vision Workshop is not the place to discuss the details, but the place to generate lots of good ideas, and a shared vision of your ideal or perfect customer.
Perfect Customer Attitudes
Your perfect customer in a perfect world is probably cheerful and patient. How do you change current customer behavior into perfect customer behavior?
- Develop customer service or call center training to improve conversations between customers and customer service people.
- Would systems enhancements speed answers to customers?
- How can you provide faster service?
Customers with Unlimited Funds
If your customer had an unlimited budget for service, how would they spend?
- Would your company sell top-of-the-line spares?
- Do these spares last longer, have to be replaced less often and give you a larger margin?
- If less time is required in the field, are there savings to be achieved for repairs to your customer?
- How would you go about getting your customer to buy the highest level of service?
If your perfect customer could communicate the need for service via any means, what is your preferred method?
- Phone? E-mail? Automated Internet transaction?
- How far in advance would you prefer to receive this communication?
- If that request would be communicated automatically, would that help you?
- Would self-diagnostic software help with communication?
- Can scheduled maintenance be performed well in advance of a failure, and it can be done electronically, reducing the need for call center personnel and frustrated customers?
In a Perfect World – Increasing Revenue
In a perfect world, your perfect customer would spend unlimited dollars on services they found beneficial. So what are some ways to help your perfect customer spend more?
- Always sell service and maintenance contracts with equipment.
- U-sell and cross-sell products every time your customer is on the phone.
- Teach your customer service people to sell parts, more services and new equipment.
Remake Your Customers
You can remake your customers into more perfect customers by learning to influence their behavior. Start with discovering what you imagine the perfect customer to be, then create services that will influence customer response and behaviors.