By: Kevin Bupp, Sr GIS Developer

You can probably think of a time where, as a customer, you were extremely satisfied with the service you received. Conversely, you can probably think of even more examples where you were not so happy. Service Excellence can be somewhat difficult to explain, but we all know when we have received it, and more importantly when we haven’t. It doesn’t take much to severely impact the relationship with a customer for good or for ill. Sometimes, something as simple as always having a cheerful attitude when meeting with a customer can make the difference between a merely satisfying experience and a truly delightful experience.

It is important to note that “Service Excellence” does not mean to “Exceed Expectations.” While exceeded expectations are always welcomed by the customer, it is not a good long term solution for a company and is difficult to operationalize. Furthermore, service excellence is not limited to interactions with the customer, but also applies to co-workers, friends, and family.

The following list, while nowhere close to being comprehensive, provides some keys I feel are important for providing excellent service:

  • Deliver what was promised - This is a fundamental component of service excellence. If you make promises that you can’t keep, the rest doesn’t matter. Honor your commitments.
  • Deal well with problems and queries - No project is problem free. How we deal with problems when they arise makes a lasting impression with a customer.
  • Provide a personal touch - Remember that your customers are people too, respect their time and presence. Listen.
  • Go the extra mile - Very often it’s the little touches here and there that can add up. The goal is not to simply satisfy requirements, but to create a delightful experience.

As a development team, it is important to regularly look for opportunities to provide service excellence to a customer. Part of Service Excellence is identifying the areas where you can do something simple that will have a dramatic impact on the customer. These “opportunities” do not necessarily need to take more time or resources, but with proper planning and design can be achieved.

Service excellence is something that everyone should be cognizant of during every aspect of a project. When everyone works towards providing a delightful experience, not only does the client feel the effects, but so does the entire team.