What is Service Experience and Why Does It Matter? - Part 2
March 15, 2019

Nancy Van Elsacker Louisnord
TOPdesk USA

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What's the difference between user satisfaction and user loyalty? How can you measure whether your users are satisfied and will keep buying from you? How much effort should you make to offer your users the ultimate experience? If you're a service provider, what matters in the end is whether users will keep coming back to you and will stay loyal. We often think that the best way to measure loyalty is through satisfaction figures. After all, a satisfied user will keep coming back, right? But if you want to accurately predict whether your users will come back, try looking at how much effort users have to put in to do business with you.

Start with What is Service Experience and Why Does It Matter? - Part 1

Delineating User Satisfaction vs. User Loyalty

Given the variety of definitions of service management and how organizations approach the topic, other questions naturally arise from this conversation. Specifically, user satisfaction and its importance to the organization are analyzed. And, organizational leaders might also begin to dissect the difference between user satisfaction and loyalty. To do so, each of these concepts must be defined.

User satisfaction is measured by how users feel about the services provided at a specific point in time. Usually, this is tied directly to the most recent interaction users have with you, the service desk. User satisfaction is measured through user reviews and other metrics.
 
User loyalty, on the other hand, is all about a user's level of involvement with the organization, product or service, demonstrated by their behavior over a longer period of time, like whether they actively seek your services. In the case of an organizationally provided service desk, this can be a tricky metric because users likely have no other option to gain service or support. They can attempt to provide services to themselves, like troubleshooting technology issues, or they cannot recommend you to colleagues. In the bigger picture, as a general rule, a loyal user is more likely to use and recommend your services to others.

Key to Service Desk Success

Loyal users are the key to your service desk's success. Happy users want to use your services and they recommend your services in the organization. It takes time and effort to exceed user expectations, but doing so means keeping the promises we make to our users and being careful not to do too much without careful consideration for what's best for the organization and users.

When looking at the issue from the viewpoint of a consumer-based organization the outcome of your results will be different so success metrics change. Bain & Company researched average customer retention, loyalty and the relation to purchases made in online stores. They found that customers do indeed start buying more when they have had a longer relationship with a retailer. While not an apples-to-apples correlation to internal users, providing quality services are key to developing a long-term relationship with users.

Creating a positive culture in a service management environment is an extremely important part of the path to provide service excellence to users. Creating a service excellence environment means creating a culture in which its employees consistently deliver excellent user experiences. Much of this is leadership's responsibility. In every decision you make, service excellence should be part of it.

Leadership is Required

Leadership behavior is truly important to building a team that is service excellence-focused. Leadership in service excellent needs to be friendly, accessible, primarily focused on users and users, and passionate about the service excellence vision. When managing the outcomes of the service desk, many of the reviews are very much performance-based, but do statistics about the number of solved incidents or the resolution times really say anything about service desk user's happiness or passion for their work.

Service desk team managers must consider additional, less-measurable factors to base performance reviews on with their service desk employees. For our teams, we have made some changes to our evaluation process, using the user satisfaction rating and less measurable things like teamwork and 360-degree reviews, as well.

Service desk employee engagement requires a passion for serving users. Doing so is a choice that employees make, often several times a day. When they're happier, they're more likely to make the right choices even if it's harder, and they're more likely to stay with the company. A culture driven by service excellent doesn't require the setting of too many rules and allowing enough freedom so that decisions are based on values rather than on rules.

Service excellence and user experience is no simple checklist, but is ultimately something organizational leaders must breathe and take in. This commitment is not just a top-down decision or a decision whatsoever, but a culture that empowers all the people involved. This is more than just supporting your users, but also the service desk employees.

The difference between user satisfaction and user loyalty is fairly easy to identify. How can you measure whether your users are satisfied and will keep happily using your services? How much effort should you make to offer your users the ultimate experience? What ultimately matters is whether users keep coming back and if they stay loyal to your cause.

Nancy Van Elsacker Louisnord is President of TOPdesk USA
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