Why we can't improve our customer service

Doctors tend to wash their hands just over 60% of the times that they should.

Do you wonder why that is?

Alice Stewart who discovered the link between childhood cancers and pre-natal X-Rays had to wait 25 years before UK hospitals prohibited X-Rays for pregnant women.

Can you think why that might be so?

Customer service is the single most effective differentiator in crowded, commoditised markets, but whilst 80% of businesses think they provide great customer service, but only 8% of their customers agree?

I wonder why that is so?

Seriously, think about that for a moment before you continue to read on. Why is that people can’t see the obvious?

I have thought about how it can be fixed, and I have come to the conclusion it can’t be fixed because it comes down to a host of biases in our thinking processes that make us think we are better off than we really are.

  • I am a better than the average driver.
  • I am better than average looking.
  • Other people are always wrong.
  • Other people should get their act together.

When we all think that, we ARE the other people.

But we refuse to believe it because there are psychological benefits to thinking we are better than we are.

Just watch Australian Idol or any similar show. Next time you see someone wearing an outfit that they really shouldn’t be wearing, you will know this is a powerful effect that is alive and well everywhere you look. From doctors to girls with muffin tops – it doesn’t discriminate based on age, sex or status.

We all think we are a little bit better than the next guy.

Except we are not.

And that, dear reader, is what stands between us and getting better; knowing and accepting that we might not be as good, special, beautiful, smart or successful as we like to believe.

The harsh reality is that our customer service is not as good as we think it is. At least until we accept that it isn’t - and do something about it despite the firm belief that we don’t need to.

The above applies to all of you of course – not me. I really am much prettier than the average…

Just kidding – have fun.