When evaluating the success of any service encounter one must ultimately think about the customer`s perception of the service that he/she had received, because this is what determines customer satisfaction. That is why executives within any organisation that provides services have to pay more attention to underlying factors affecting those perceptions.

So what can you do to maximize your customers’ perception of the service?

One of things you can do is to give people rituals. Behavioral research has proven that rituals such as for example, receiving the weekly call from the consultant on a project, copying the CEO on a progress report, or answering phone calls immediately provide an implicit standard for evaluating service. By creating such – small but important – rituals you can establish professional credentials, flatter customers and create a feeling of inclusion. This can become a crucial point in creating a long-term relationship between the service provider and the consumer.

However, the ritualistic nature of people is often underestimated. It is important to remember that once the rituals have been created they cannot be neglected. For example, if you have shown your client a graphic illustrating the assignment sequence from beginning to end, make sure you start every meeting with the same graph showing where you are on that timeline. Because any deviation from an established ritual is often seen as a cause of a failure to provide a good service.

Ultimately, creating rituals and sticking to them will allow you to improve your customers’ perception of their experience and therefore their satisfaction level.

 

Based on various articles in Harvard Business Review by Richard B. Chase and Sriram Dasu.

BCW Sports practice is the sport unit of global advisory firm Burson-Marsteller. We provide strategy and communication advice for sport clients around the world. For more information: bmsport.staging.wpengine.com