From the moment the idea of a visit to your business occurs to them, or indeed is placed before them so it occurs to them, they have become a part of the process. It does not start only when they walk through your door. Nor does it finish once they leave.

If all the elements are in place and working, the actual reason for the visit becomes almost secondary. Word of mouth, especially criticism, can make or break a business.

We are all visitors visiting shops, garages, restaurants, parks, town centres, cosy pubs, schools and retirement homes, hospitals and endlessly on.

Love them or hate them, your customer is your life’s blood. Whether they are the reason for your business or enablers for your business needs.

The purpose of a regular external Customer Services Audit highlights the good and bad points of your customer service. It can empower staff as well as iron out small, but vital flaws in the system, and an audit that spans the whole spectrum from pre-visit through visit to post-visit will ensure that this essential element of your business is running as it should.

For a more in-depth Audit, if required, further information will be sought from the client to enable the use of Service Blueprinting. A service blueprint is a very versatile, diagrammatic method of visually outlining a service system. It does so by breaking the service process down into its individual steps or activities that must be carried out in order for the service to be delivered to the customer. This blueprint details how the required steps and activities should be carried out, and the evidence that should be present in order for it to be clear that the activities have been carried out and the service has been delivered to the customer.

We seldom check that the level of treatment we look for when we visit is displayed in our own business.

A service blueprint is a picture or map that accurately portrays the service system so that the different people involved in providing it can understand and deal with it objectively regardless of their roles or their individual point of view.

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