An article in the Austin American-Statesman points out that PC makers are moving beyond vivid colors to improve the overall experience of using their computers.
Take H-P’s new Pavilion desktop computers. Designers reshaped the top of the PC tower to make it more like a tray, where users could set digital cameras or other devices. Then they coated it with a rubbery surface so those devices won’t slide off if they’re jostled. Similar thought went into H-P’s latest convertible tablet PC, designed so the speakers face the user regardless of how the screen is situated.
The article continues with a description of one of Dell’s new laptops. It’s built with a curved keyboard for improved ergonomics.
When was the last time you examined what happens when your customers interact with your employees and your products or services?
If you’re in retail, you can observe how your customers and your employees interact, then later provide coaching to your employees. It get’s harder for businesses where customer interaction takes place away from their offices. For example, an HVAC business visits customers at their home or work. But a supervisor can ride along on a call, then use various forms of feedback to draw some conclusions. Some of the most basic are having the employee smile, introduce themselves, and hand the customer a business card. (My cable company and HVAC company both do the first two, but omit the business card until the very last. My opinion: give the card out at the beginning so that the customer remembers the employee’s name. This makes it easier to develop a relationship that could strengthen customer loyalty over time.)
Are your employees trained to begin the interaction with a set number of steps? For example:
- Introduce yourself, present ID (when appropriate) and a business card
- Determine or verify the customer’s needs
Do your managers and their employees understand your expectations of professionalism? They should be in writing and communicated to all employees as well.
If your customers are from cultures different than yours do your employees understand how to interact with them in ways that build relationships?
This is 2008. When was the last time you examined your customer service design experience?