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Identifying Key Service Attributes That Truly Matter


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High-level, step-by-step guide on how to use critical incident methodology in order to identify the critical factors that drive customer loyalty (and spite).

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Identifying Key Service Attributes That Truly Matter

  1. 1. Identifying Key Service Attributes That Truly Matter To Your Customers A Critical Incident Methodology Case Study Darin Phillips
  2. 2. You Are Reading This Because <ul><li>You want to know what is really important to your customers, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money and you don’t have time for a six-month marketing study </li></ul><ul><li>At your office employees talk about what ‘the company’ thinks is important, but you want to change the conversation by asking your customers what ‘they’ say is important </li></ul>
  3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>1. Identify the customer </li></ul><ul><li>2. Create the question </li></ul><ul><li>3. Ask and record the answers </li></ul><ul><li>4. Distribute the answers and cluster </li></ul><ul><li>5. Interpret the message </li></ul><ul><li>6. Build the tools to leverage the results </li></ul>
  4. 4. Identify the Customer <ul><li>Who do we talk to? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>90% of calls come from Travel Agents </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Are some more important that others? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We cannot afford to lose any of them, but some sell more that others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where can we find them? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Top performers are invited to sail on inaugurals </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Create the Question <ul><li>Go for the things that they are very emotional about </li></ul><ul><li>Train a select few to consistently ask the same question the same way and to record only the most immediate and passionate responses </li></ul><ul><li>“ Whether it was with an airline, a hotel, a resort, a rental car company, or a cruise line – tell me about the best and worst phone calls that you ever had with a vendor.” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Ask and Record the Answers <ul><li>Only record the passionate responses </li></ul><ul><li>Record the answers verbatim </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for clarification </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for more detail if none given </li></ul><ul><li>The clues are in the story that they tell </li></ul><ul><li>“ Oh my goodness, I really hate _____’s voice recognition system. I just stopped calling them because it could never recognize the name of the city. It must have asked me to repeat that name at least twenty times every time I hung the darn phone up and called back so I just stopped calling. </li></ul>”
  7. 7. Distribute and Cluster <ul><li>Type up all of the quotes </li></ul><ul><li>Cut into strips (one quote/strip of paper) </li></ul><ul><li>Distribute the strips to 6 or more groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Read aloud and agree on which pile to put them in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Label piles and document ‘lessons learned’ for each pile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Type them up and email them to me! </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Interpret the Message <ul><li>Compare and contrast the pile titles and lessons learned </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start with full agreement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Next work on similarities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discard random piles (insight or accident?) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Document the final master list of categories and descriptors for each </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share with groups who made the piles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invite feedback: add, delete, modify </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Build the Tools <ul><li>Selection – assess and interview for price of admission competencies (hard wired and commodity) noted by your customers </li></ul><ul><li>Training – provide knowledge and skills that can only be gained internally and that matter to your customers (need to know vs. nice to know) </li></ul><ul><li>Assess – monitor performance by asking customers if your employees missed, met, or exceeded their expectations in the major categories </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Presenter <ul><li> While serving as a counselor for at-risk youth for a small United Way agency, Darin Phillips discovered that those same skills could be leveraged in corporate America. First as a contract soft skills trainer, and then as a leadership development and talent management consultant, Darin honed his skills while finishing his doctoral degree in psychology. He then went internal and managed the Organization Development and Training team for Pennzoil-Quaker State Company. When Shell Oil bought that company he developed software that facilitated the processes that he had designed and went back to talent management consulting. Then, after three years with Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., Darin was enticed to interview with a relatively young company and noticed that everyone was smiling, upbeat, and having a lot of fun. Now he is the Director of Customer Experience for the premier small balance commercial real estate lending company, Silver Hill Financial, LLC. </li></ul><ul><li>If you want to contact Darin about this presentation or other best practices he can be reached at </li></ul>