As a business in the 21st century, it doesn’t matter which field you’re in, I think most people would agree the conviction of ‘Customer First’. But do you know that even though we both recognize the importance of service quality, the ‘standard’ of service may change according to different industry and company positions.
Everyone must have visited the hospital at some point in their lives. The image of a hospital conceptualized in your mind may be something of cold and serious. However, not all medical related services make you ‘feel’ the same. Health Check Center actually provides a whole new different user experience than that of hospitals and clinics.
I’ve been going to the Center to do regular full body health check. From registration at the reception desk, there was a beautiful and nice lady telling you the process you would be going through today. The environment was comfortable, there was nutritious lunch and throughout the day, there would be specialized nurses guiding you through the process in order. You don’t have to worry that you may be ignored, nor should you worry where to check the items, or do certain procedures. Last but not least, they would patiently explain the result of the test and tell you things you should be mindful of or whether you should receive further check. They may even recommend a good doctor when needed. This experience was entirely different from what I felt in a hospital.
Take a simple example for comparison. When I went to draw blood for examination, a friendly and amiable nurse started to chitchat with me, “Mr. Mu, the weather’s so nice today, isn’t it? You look great, have you been working out?” At that moment, my male pride kicked in, “Yeah, I do. I job weekly.” “No wonder, you look healthy, you should keep up with the exercise.” In the middle of this chat, the nurse had already loosen my arm belt and took out the needle. “Alrighty, it’s done.” “Really?” “Yeah, this was a soft needle, it will stay with you the whole day. In the following tests, should you need any injection or drawing blood, they will access from here, so you don’t need to suffer multiple pricks.” She said it with smiley eyes. As for the stone-cold experience of getting your blood drawn in the hospital, I’m sure everyone had experienced it, so I won’t elaborate here.
As the old Chinese saying goes, “after all, the wool still comes from the sheep's back. In the long run, whatever you're given, you pay for.” I think more importantly, the difference lies in the ‘heart’ to service the customers. The difference between a health check center and a hospital lies in whether they put customer satisfaction as their starting point of service.
I’m sure you wouldn’t expect a doctor to call you after the diagnosis and asked you whether you’re satisfied with the service or whether there’s room for improvement. If you do, you may think ‘That’s bloody weird, does the doctor have a crush on me or something?!’ Then you’ll gossip about this weird encounter with at least 10 friends. However, if you send your car to a car maintenance, after 2-3 days you receive a call asking you about customer satisfaction. You would probably think it’s annoying. You would imagine yourself manning million things right now, and hang up the phone in a lightning speed. The nature of these two calls are the same, but you treat them differently, isn’t it odd?!
The difference between the two mainly because we are used to the service attitude received from the car maintenance. Drinks and refreshments at the waiting area, equipped with computers to surf online, or books, newspapers, magazines, even TVs and nice couches there. They would make you as comfortable as you are at home, so much so that, you could just change into pajama and take a nap there. If a car maintenance doesn’t provide such service, you would feel hugely disappointed in their service attitude. Competition is one of the drives to enhance service quality. It depends on whether you want to be the first one who does it and impress the consumers or you’re doing so because other competitors have already done it. You’re forced to provide the same service. Well, the result is the same: you have to do it, but with varying degrees of customer satisfaction.
There are tons of good services in the market, you should have a look and learn a thing or two from different industries. You may find a model that you could adopt from. Of course, you don’t need to overly dote on consumers but do your best and do it earlier than your competitors. It doesn’t matter what merchandise you’re selling, building a good impressionable brand image in your customers’ hearts will definitely become your competitive edge.
Mika, Internet Marketing Observer
Born in the 60s, Mika has worked in the field of consumption marketing for decades. He experienced brand strategy, product concept all the way to official launch. He cares about traditional marketing model as well as the changes arise from Web2.0 and social media.