We’re always being told to give outstanding service. We’re told that service is everything and that we need to focus on the service we give. But what is outstanding service?
Let’s take a look at the service we receive from our ‘service providers’. If we call a helpdesk from anything from a Bank to a product we have purchased, what would be outstanding service? Getting through to a human being in under a minute would be pretty good. The person listening to us and not trying to ‘process’ us would be good too.
 
Our expectation these days might be that it will be difficult getting through to anyone and that if we do it is unlikely to be the right person and that they are unlikely to listen to what we really want. In other words our expectations are at a particular level based on our previous experience. If the service we receive is above that expectation then we perceive this to be good. To be outstanding it would need to be some way above our expectations.
 
The key to outstanding service is to go beyond a person’s expectations. And to do this we must first understand what there expectations are.
 
Looking at the role of a Secretary or PA what are the elements of the service we give which may be measured by our clients.
 
Speed is one. How fast we are at delivering a piece of work, or a task, or at providing a reply to a query will contribute to how our service is perceived. Whatever the client’s expectations are in terms of speed, in order to give outstanding service we need to exceed their expectations.
 
Working out and exceeding our client’s expectations is key to giving outstanding service.
 
Think about your internal and external clients and consider their expectations of you and the service you offer. What factors do they expect, or put another way what do they expect as a minimum?
 
In the next few posts we will look at this subject of expectations further.

What is outstanding service and how can we give it?

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