Today’s customer is able to enjoy more choice and convenience than ever before, but this age of instant gratification doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with quality. Online reviews aren’t always trustworthy, so how do we know who’s really as good as they claim to be? For many industries the answer is star ratings.
Hotels and restaurants in the EU and America have been classified according to quality for over a century, and people flock from around the world for a table at a Michelin starred restaurant or a penthouse in a five star hotel. In a bid to echo global standards the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates launched the Global Star Rating Program in 2012, focusing on excellence in guest experience and customer service. The program rates centers from 2 to 7 stars, highlighting strengths, weaknesses and suggestions for improvement based on independent assessments.
Not only do ratings allow customers to see at a glance what they can expect from an establishment, they encourage organizations to be the very best they can. When teams are motivated to achieve high ratings, they naturally work harder- leading to a more productive, engaged and effective workforce.
Taking part in the program encourages organizations to look at their services through the eyes of their customers, enabling them to establish
policies and methods of working that promise a good experience. They are required to look closely at the main components of successful businesses: strategy, service delivery and organizational culture, and how these impact on the experience for the end user. Employees receive enhanced customer service training, focusing on the importance of personality and exceptional communication skills.
Customer service centers are required to prepare a set of evidence and undergo a visit from the evaluation team, who will then tour the customer service center and interview key members of staff. Following the visit and review of documentary evidence, the assessor will then provide the organization with a detailed report which covers:
- Rating of the center from 2-7
- Strength points
- Areas for improvement
If you’re wondering whether it’s worth all the time and effort, it’s important to remember the power of star ratings and the important role they play in customer retention. Ratings are important because:
- Customers like to see what they’re getting at a glance, and star ratings are universally understood and easy to use
- They create a sense of pride in organizations
- A high rating is a great marketing tool which immediately puts you at an advantage over your competitors
- They play a major role in whether customers put a foot through your door in the first place
- They encourage your workforce to strive for the best
If you’re considering your center becoming classified in the program, there are some prerequisites that must be met:
- The center must be in a separate building with its own clear corporate identity that refers to being a customer service center
- If it is part of a joint building there should be an area that is specifically and clearly set aside for customer service (i.e. waiting area, information desk, front row counters)
- The service center is open for at least five days a week
- A full time manager should be in post