Principle #2: Quality and Access to Service Work Together

In customer experience, when service is required, quality of service and access to it are inextricably associated with, and complementary to, each other. Accessibility is an enabler. When customers wait too long, they will often verbalize their criticisms when they finally do reach an employee. Valuable time is spent apologizing and delivering service takes more time. Employee burnout can increase. If long waits are chronic, employee morale and turnover take a hit, leading to an increase in recruitment and training costs.

When you consider these components of a quality customer service interaction, the complementary relationship between quality and access to service becomes even more evident.

  • Customer can access service through the most convenient channel
  • Interaction is necessary in the first place
  • Customer does not have to wait overly long
  • Customer is not transferred around
  • Customer doesn’t get rushed
  • Employee provides correct response
  • All data entry is correct
  • Customer receives correct information
  • Employee captures all needed/useful information
  • Customer has confidence the interaction was effective
  • Customer doesn’t feel it necessary to check up, verify or repeat
  • Customer is satisfied
  • Employee has pride in a job well done
  • Unsolicited marketplace feedback is detected and documented
  • Others across the organization can correctly interpret and effectively use the information captured
  • The organization’s mission is furthered

Think through how each applies in your environment. What if data is not entered correctly? What if the customer doesn’t have confidence the interaction was handled correctly? What if you didn’t capture useful information from the interaction? These problems contribute to repeat service contacts, escalations, and, in the end, even longer waits for service.

By looking at the relationship of quality and access in this way, you can quickly dispel the notion that they must be “balanced.” No … they work together!

Note: This post is part of a series on Improving Quality and Performance in Customer Experience.