80% of big companies describes themselves as delivering “superior” service, but only 8% of customers say they’ve experienced “superior” service from these companies . Unfortunately I am not surprised, that’s my personal feeling and experience as well.
Many retailers are moving sales online, my colleague Alistair Agnew however wrote in a recent blog post that much of the research we see shows that around 70% of all sales will be concluded face to face. That’s estimated to be worth as much as €15-20 billion in the finance sector alone. 
So, face to face, service is a vital part of the service mix and very much alive today. When you have a customer on your premises, they are usually there for the express purpose of buying something or soliciting your services. This is often the most critical stage in your sales process and in these days of making sure that every customer receives a personalized and seamless journey it is even more important to look at the integration of the virtual and physical world.
Last week our stove broke down. We needed a new one – urgently. After a quick desktop study on various web sites, the whole family took off to one of the larger home electronic store chains in Europe.
It took us about 5 minutes to walk out of the store.
Why? A rude and unskilled sales person.
Where did we go? To their biggest competitor.
There we got a great greeting, the queue was managed in a good way, the sales guy asked us questions and took us through the various options. He made sure we got a home delivery, with an electrician that could install it properly, he was very polite and when the deal was done, he shook my hand and thanked us for the sales and wished us good luck.
So, simple isn’t? Yet, so many fail to understand the importance of managing all of the steps in the customer journey in a good way.
A methodology called Customer Flow Management (CFM), can assist service providers to deliver better service. CFM stresses the importance of planning and monitoring the customer’s entire visit, also capturing data and information at each point of contact with a member of staff or self- service point. Furthermore it can link all the service points together, helping managers understand the dynamics of the customer’s visit and, ultimately, their experience.
According to a study by HelpScout it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. I guess that the retailer we walked out from has an uphill with the Husmark family.
 The New Yorker
 EFMA McKinsey