Companies striving to compete in ever decreasing markets are always looking for a point of difference between themselves and their competition. Sometimes the only point that they can come up with is "exceptional service," so what does this really mean today and how do you know that you are actually providing exceptional service and it isn't just a throwaway line to gain more work?
I think there are a few key areas that show what service can and should be about.
There are many factors that make up great service but I know when I think about what I want from any service provider it includes reliability. This could be as simple as turning up when they say they will or phoning back to a time line or doing what they say they are going to do. This to me is a fundamental requirement. If you can't trust the individual or company to do as they say; what else is left?
It is all well and good to be reliable but if you are reliable and don't know what you are doing it falls down pretty damn quick. In our industry having trainers that actually know what they are doing when they teach first aid is obviously very important. This may seem like a strange thing to say but it is interesting how many enquiries we get from people that have literally just completed a first aid course and now want to teach it. It really is not that simple. Sure a lot of first aid is common sense but there are procedures and processes to go through that need to be remembered. Not to mention it really is a good idea to have practical experience in the first aid or pre-hospital setting. I taught a class a few days ago and some of the questions were interesting. Some of the "what ifs" would have a newbie first aid trainer on the hop. "What if it's raining when you go to defibrillate?" "What if you can't move the person from a bed when you need to do CPR?" "What if you are on your own when you get bitten by a snake and there is no bandage?" What ifs are fantastic because it shows that the class is interested and interactive, but competency in the course that you are training makes everyones experience much better and gives the class confidence that you do actually know what you are talking about.
We live in an age where everyone wants everything now. Patience is slowly diminishing and the consumer, me included wants a speedy transaction. Fair enough, we are now used to having everything at our fingertips, knowledge, banking, access to people, so it stands to reason that people also want to do something but they want it now. I hear Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory yelling in my ear "I want it now Daddy!" Not only do we want the product/service immediately, we are willing to troll through the internet to make sure we get it, but at the lowest cost we can too. Timely resolution to issues and problems must be the norm. Everyone makes mistakes and businesses are just the same, it's how well and fast they fix the little errors that creep into transactions that matters.
It doesn't really matter what industry you are in but completion to a satisfactory result is the aim. In our industry, the customer is a student and they want simple instructions that can be followed in the shortest amount of time. They want hassle free learning and a result that see's them competent in the first aid training that they have just learned, plus a certificate as soon as possible. Simple really! But things can go slightly askew in the result. Things like ensuring that the USI is all correct and verified can leave small delays in administering the students' records. Not a big deal but anything that is perceived as slowing down the process is a bad thing and not to be tolerated. Again speedy service is paramount but not at the expense of competency. Completion exceeding the customers/students expectations leads to exceptional customer service. Simple really.
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