The downside of a vacation at the beach can be eating way too much seafood, especially if you happen to be a lover of delicious fare from the deep! A popular antidote to weight gain from beach banquets is to rent a bicycle for a long ride along the shore.
Bicycle rental today is far different than yesteryear. The one size fits all approach has given way to wide customer choices. You want a bike with skinny tires and a seat that is not much wider, or do you want the fat tires with a seat a wide as a saddle? Would you like ten speed or a one speed? How about accessories—a basket, a horn, a child carrier, or a bell? They even have versions with a small motor in case you get tired of peddling.
Customers today expect service to be like nouveau bike rental—lots of choices, options and forms. Some want highly personalized service with treatment as cuddly as a Disney character at the theme park. Some want it fast, efficient without any bells and whistles for decoration. But, the challenging part for service providers is this: they want you to know and remember their expectations. And, as their needs and wishes change, they expect you to have ways to keep their service customization in sync.
It means having up-to-the-minute customer intelligence that is second to none. It means inventing tools that can quickly translate frontline wisdom about customers into alterations in how their service is delivered. And, it takes leaders who are as smart about ever-changing customer expectations as they are about changing interest rates or the changing whims of investors. Keep up with your customers’ expectations or you will only see their taillights as they peddle away to a competitor!