HKBU business survey concludes customer appreciation drives service excellence20 Nov, 2018
The survey was conducted in September 2018 with 600 customers and 500 tertiary industry employees in Hong Kong with the key aims of understanding the culture of fostering customer appreciation and its effectiveness in driving frontline employees’ service excellence.
Leading the survey were Dr. Henry Fock, Department Head, and Prof. Kimmy Chan, Professor, of the Department of Marketing. “Tertiary industry is part of our daily life, and the survey results reveal the power of customer appreciation in driving superior service quality. A small but proactive from employees can lead customers to take the step to do appreciation, which ultimately increases employees’ motivations to perform better and in turn boosts service quality for customers. This is exactly how the ‘upward spiral effect’ in services marketing works.”
The survey results suggest that around 60% of consumers did not show appreciation toward a particular frontline employee of an organisation in the past year when they consumed or enjoyed a service. Among many tertiary industries, the top three receiving the most customer appreciation are café/restaurant (over 20%), banking/insurance (11.9%) and airlines (9.7%); the three industries that receive the least appreciation are telecommunication, real estate and IT (less than 5%).
Moreover, around half of the interviewed customers prefer appreciating employees through face-to-face. Nearly 70% of the interviewed employees agree that customers’ appreciation can help improve their service performance. As for the medium of appreciation, employees generally think verbal compliments work best to motivate them to perform better, followed by thank-you cards and compliment letters, while appreciation through online channels or social media platforms is less effective in motivating their service performance.