1. Basis of market success - customer satisfaction
In order to reach the goal of customer satisfaction a development process must be started in the enterprise which has to involve the entire staff. This can not be achieved by giving orders and instructions but presupposes a suitable work atmosphere. A positive work environment conveys the readiness to deal friendly and openly with the customer.
It is certainly not sufficient to tell the service technicians or employees that from today on they should please treat the customers a little bit more politely and friendly. Equipped with such an "instruction or training", one will hardly be able to achieve the goal of acquiring new customers for the enterprise.
In the first place, a positive basic attitude in the whole company must be realised. This process must start at the top, in the management positions before it can reach the employees and co-workers at the basis of the enterprise. Unfortunately, in most companies these considerations take only place when an increasing competition already compellingly requires it and the pressure becomes so strong that a change has to realised in any case.
Many scientific investigations and surveys demand a change in the relationship between craftsmen, salesmen or service technicians on the one side and the customer on the other side. In a service economy each human being also makes experiences as a customer, e.g. in handling craftsmen, while shopping, in the car repair shop or in the restaurant. What does the customer think if impolite salesmen or grumpy service technicians reply to his requests in the following way: "This is not possible...", "this is much too costly...", "what do you still want to do with this...", "how do you possibly wish to buy anything like this..." ? Unfortunately, one also often hears such answers in the sanitary, heating, air-conditioning and solar energy service business.
Quite frequently not only lacking politeness can be observed but also missing advisory competence, especially in regard to the very promising new market of regenerative energy technology. Each year the companies in the sector are losing millions in profits through deterring and unprofessional customer advisory and counselling. The big discrepancy between the in theory often demanded "customer proximity" on the one hand and the reality on the other hand becomes clearly visible here.
A further proof that something has to be done in order to first achieve and then to preserve "customer proximity" shows a study about this topic conducted by the EMNID Institute on behalf of the German SPIEGEL magazine (source: SPIEGEL 26/94):
What does consumers in Germany disturb ? Did you already once leave a shop from annoyance over bad service without buying anything ?