In today's scenario where one needs everything done yesterday, it is important to keep time schedules. There is no time to wait or waste. The pace of events is so fast that if you stick to time you are on the road towards satisfaction. It could be meeting a friend, getting home from work or a promise to your little one. If you have kept a time schedule, you can clearly see satisfaction. The contrary leads to disappointment and dissatisfaction. If this means so much in general, it must have much deeper and serious implications in a working environment.
At work we are dealing with customers. Customers - whose satisfaction means your growth and success. Same customers, who would have no qualms moving to competition should you delay in performing as promised.
The logic is simple. Just as you would not like to be left waiting, so would your customer who has approached you with a requirement. Having understood his need, you have accepted to meet it. Satisfied with your confirmation his next question is 'when', as he is now eager and wants delivery ASAP. You confirm a time and date and he is going to start the countdown. If you deliver it on time you have him saying, 'Hey these guys are great. They said it and did it'.
On time performance portrays value for time and respect for the customer. It shows that the customer is important to us and always on our mind. It tells that he is not taken for granted. This makes a customer feel good. It builds customer loyalty as he in turn sticks with you at all times having faith that you would do all possible to keep to your commitments. On time performance enables you to meet him eye to eye. This paves the way for trust and a healthy relationship.
But should there be a delay then, you have him waiting. His need has suddenly changed to craving. He is now getting anxious and stressed. He is wondering, 'Have they let me down'? You are slowly heading towards a dissatisfied customer. Someone who will quite certainly share his experience with others.
If you fail to deliver on time you run the risk of gifting a valued customer to your competitor that too in a silver platter. In a silver platter, as your competitor has a new customer he never worked towards. Your delays have helped in sending your customer to him. All that he needs to do is to understand how he received this gift, take good care of him and ensure satisfaction of on time performance and voilÃ he now has a valued customer that he snatched from right under your nose.
Irrespective of the business, on time performance can usually be achieved, as it is based on some study and planning. However delays have still to be anticipated, as all activities do not go by clockwork schedule. This is understandable and acceptable. Should there be delays one can still salvage the situation by informing the customer on scheduled time and keeping him posted about the delay. Focus on making up for the delay but do not forget your customer. Delay in itself is not as harmful as how the customer feels about the delay.
'Mr. King, we were supposed to deliver your vehicle today. Unfortunately the vessel did not arrive as anticipated. It is expected only today. We should hence be in a position to deliver it to you in 2 days. We are extremely sorry about the delay and request you to accommodate with us.'
Should there be a delay in departure, inform passengers at the scheduled departure time or sooner about the delay, and for how long it would be. While you are running against time in sorting the technical problem do not forget to inform your passengers before they start getting impatient.
While this is definitely a setback he would still have sympathy and consideration for you. He is happy that he was not forgotten and that someone was honest and courageous enough to inform him about the delay. It shows that you valued him and his time. This helps to prop satisfaction levels. It sends a message that customers will always be in your mind. This helps in your attempt to try and retain trust and faith. Informing him helps him reschedule his other activities and save him from embarrassments. And who knows, by keeping him abreast he could help you in sorting the situation. After all, it is in his interest. But remember informing (on time) about delays should not be a repetitive exercise.
As the saying goes 'It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why you did it wrong'. Work towards on time performance and you are on the right path towards customer satisfaction.Back
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