By Peter Cheng

You’re probably wondering, “what exactly is Real Service?” To thoroughly understand this concept, it’d be useful to compare it to transactional service.

I believe we are all familiar with transactional service. We’ve heard about it, experienced it, and maybe even been part of providing it! Transactional service requires no real engagement with the customer. It ends with the service provider supplying the customer with goods or services for a price or fee, done purely for economic gain on the part of the service provider.

Real Service, on the other hand, is rendered with the intention to build a genuine relationship with the customer beyond economic gain. It is served with passion from the heart. It is genuine and aims to delight the customers. The by-product of Real Service is customer loyalty that is much needed in the tight market space out there.

With that said, how do you get your organisation to provide Real Service? It all boils down to creating a culture of Real Service, beginning by serving your internal customers. The term “internal customers” refers to your colleagues, your bosses, your peers, your direct reports—really, anybody who works within the organisation. Service begins within the organisation, and encompasses the following aspects:

Personal Support

By first adopting the culture of serving one another, the organisation ensures that its members go beyond the pursuit of self-KPIs and paves the way to the extraordinary pursuit of departmental or even organisational goals.

Systems and Processes

Are there systems and procedures at the moment that might possibly hinder service excellence? Could it be your organisation’s response time? Maybe even the way you engage the customer’s first enquiry online? Ultimately, it must be understood that systems and processes are meant to be customer-oriented before the customer can be satisfied.

Internal Communications

In the context of Real Customer Service, channels of communication are required from the front to the back end. Not only do these service elements and touchpoints need to be in place, but there is a need for them to be explicitly linked with communication that is clearly understood by all team and organisational members.

Real Service starts from within an organisation—from the way that service providers function within the organisation when working with internal staff and systems. The three important aspects that determine how well an organisation fares internally (and subsequently, in external customer service) are its systems and processes, internal communications and personal support for staff. Real Service begins here—getting these aspects right means a step in the right direction for the organisation.

Real Service, authored by Dr. Peter Cheng, is a comprehensive and practical guide to the various behaviours at an individual, team and organisational level that impact the quality of service, angled from the holistic point of view of organisation development. The book is available for sale via this webpage and will also be in all major bookstores by mid August.

Real Service retails for SGD $28. Price excludes postage.