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The Importance of Service Quotient in a Business Enterprise

Having worked in a customer centric industry, the author has dealt with different customers, and understands the value of customer service.

service quotient

service quotient

Customer is King

In an era of intense competition what is it that attracts people or customers most, especially in service industries like hospitals, banks, airlines, law firms, theaters, consulting firms and many more. It is quality service and the empathy with which a customer is treated. This essential quality though intangible is of immense value to a business enterprise. Many businesses thrive or perish based on the type of customer service that they provide.

It got me thinking on a less discussed term called the service quotient. So what is service quotient?

Doctors are like God

Doctors are like God

Experience at the Vaccination Center

I had been to the covid vaccination center near my place for the shot. My experience here was excellent. The staff was very efficient and the process seamless. They were in fact welcoming, considerate and kind. Seniors were looked after with utmost courtesy and respect. The lounge was clean and organized. Comfortable chairs were placed in this lounge and the people were escorted by well mannered, helpful staff. The doctors were polite. They did everything to reassure the nervous ones.

This is an example of good service, I thought.

What is Service Quotient

We have all heard of intelligence quotient and for a long time the concept of intelligence quotient reigned supreme in our minds, while assessing personalities. In recent times, we have been hearing of a new concept namely, the emotional quotient (EQ) which refers to a person’s ability to relate to others in an emotionally mature manner. But there is another concept “The Service Quotient (SQ)” which indicates a person’s propensity to serve.

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value

— Albert Einstein

What is service? A service means a helpful act or an act of helpful activity. In the area of customer services there are many kinds of service. When you buy a car, the dealer offers free services for the first three occasions. This is not the service we have in mind. When you take an insurance policy it implies rendering periodical services like accepting renewal premium and keeping the policy in force.

We can think of two doctors, both equally qualified. The first doctor listens to the patient, examines him carefully and prescribes some tablets and asks him to visit after three days. The other doctor patiently listens to the patient with a reassuring smile and proceeds to examine him while at the same time asking some questions about the patient’s work, family etc., and then sits back, asks the patient to relax and briefly explains what he has diagnosed taking care not to frighten him and prescribes some medicine volunteering to inform that it is effective and yet harmless.

The difference between the approach of these two equally competent doctors is obvious to us. This is the way service adds charm, and makes value addition to the sale of any product or service.

Service with a Smile

Service with a Smile

Types of Service

The special attributes required to be able to render very good service are of two types. First one is the inherent quality pertaining to the personality of a person. The second is the qualities that may have to be learnt or which may be instilled in a person with the help of training.

Service helps the customer to enjoy his purchase, his interaction and relationship with the company. A mere act of buying a product or a service say a facial given by a beautician is converted into an enjoyable experience when there is good service. What we consider customer service usually can also be transformed by doing with a smile and a helpful attitude.

Is service mandatory or obligatory? Service as is commonly understood is mandatory. It is mandatory for a bus to stop at the bus stop. But if an aged person is taking a little extra time, then a helping hand from the conductor is not mandatory but service which is appreciable. An insurance agent reminding the policy holder to pay the premium on time, or a hotel arranging to change the sheets regularly or a telephone operator connecting the caller to the person he or she wants to speak to. These are all implied in the post/job pertaining to that service. The concern is the manner in which these acts, these services are actually rendered.

Service is proactive, it makes value addition to the product or service. It helps customers to enjoy their purchase or services and helps get all their needs satisfied.

One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention

— Jim Rohn

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Qualities Necessary for Rendering Good Service

The qualities in the two groups are not mutually exclusive but they overlap to an appreciable level. For example, empowerment is a feeling which the institution has to create in its employees. At the same time individual employees should be willing to accept it, enjoy it and act with a sense of power to help their customers. Similarly, job knowledge has to be taught but at the same time employees can try to improve their knowledge in their own ways, for example by doing some extra reading.

So, we can infer that a gregarious, outgoing, proactive, extrovert person would be highly suitable for the job which has a service quotient as an important factor. Not that an introvert or reticent person is bad but such a nature may not be fully suitable for a service assignment. Of course, even an introverted person can learn to come out of his or her shell and acquire qualities necessary for rendering good service.

Always do more than is required of you

— George Patton

Service Mindedness

Service mindedness means looking at one’s work or job as an opportunity to serve the customer rather than merely doing the assigned work. Employees should be inspired to adopt service as their goal. Most people look at their work/job as a means to earn their livelihood. We can make them see that they have to earn their livelihood by serving the customers.

Politeness, polishes, courtesy, have to be taught and inculcated. We are inclined to believe that these qualities are inborn. If that were the case there would not have been so much rudeness, discourtesy, and disservice in the world.

Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They DO expect you to fix things when they go wrong.

— Donald Porter

Courtesy is a Two-Way -Traffic

Most people think courtesy is a two-way traffic. Courtesy is a test when a customer approaches you angrily, probably shouting, and remonstrating. A special point to be noted is that courtesy is most necessary when we have to say no to a customer, when it is the right answer. One other important aspect to consider is resolving the customer’s complaints. If a customer’s complaints are resolved quickly, he will be happy and a continued relationship with a valuable client can be established.

Feedback is Important

Encouraging customers to give feedback often and addressing the issues from the feedback can be very rewarding. Genuine Courtesy should teach us to listen, to be patient, and to be empathetic. Listening is not an easy job. While listening we should not only take in the verbal message but also the feeling behind the message.

An understanding of the body language helps to be aware of the feelings behind the verbal messages. There is so much training given to speak, preparing speeches etc., but hardly any training is given to listen better, listen actively.

Company Policy Should be Intact

Rendering good service is possible for an employee only with proper back up from the company or institution. Therefore, much depends on the institution’s policy with regard to customer service, towards handling customer complaints and grievances. The extent to which the company is willing to go to provide men and material so that customers can get the right service at the right time.

It all depends on the support the company can extend to its employees by spending on publicity relating to customer information and education, facilities available to attend to irate customers and overall, the extent of empowerment the company provides to its employees to serve the customers, to solve their problems and to make them happy.

In Conclusion

The service quotient of a person therefore depends upon many factors and particularly upon the service quotient of the company which he or she represents. But when all is said and done, the one thing that stands above all is a person’s courtesy because research shows that most of the customers quit because they are not treated well rather than for any other reason.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.



VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on April 29, 2021:

Thanks Misbah for the visit and comments. Much appreciated. Personally when we buy a product or require a service, we read the reviews and then decide. They provide a very good picture of the product or service. That's how important feedback is. Customer is King is a moto of most service oriented companies which they instill in their employees in order to provide better service to the customers.

Misbah Sheikh from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on April 29, 2021:

Interesting and informative article, Vidya. Very insightful and thought-provoking article.

I like the point of saying Customer is King and yes Feedback is very important. Thanks for sharing it.

Blessings and love

VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on April 28, 2021:

Thanks Peggy for the visit and the nice comments. Much appreciated. Yes it is a two way street. When the customer is polite and friendly, the service executive will go out of his or her way to solve the problem. As you said it doesn't take much effort to be polite and courteous but it can make a huge difference in building a lasting relationship which can benefit both the parties involved.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 28, 2021:

Being polite and courteous takes little effort but can be the difference between interactions that can build a lasting relationship between customers and a business. It is also a two-way street.

VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on April 28, 2021:

Thanks Lorna for the visit and the comment. Much appreciated. When the customers on their part are empathetic and courteous with the service center employees, they get motivated to serve better and fix their problems faster. It really is a two-way-traffic.

VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on April 28, 2021:

Friends, we all know about intelligence quotient and emotional quotient. But did you know the importance of another concept called the 'service quotient' for a business Enterprise to thrive. Please read my article for a detailed description of the concept:

VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on April 28, 2021:

Thanks Anoop for the visit and comments. Much appreciated. I am glad you liked it. Take care, stay safe.

Lorna Lamon on April 28, 2021:

An excellent article Vidya and you have covered all aspects of the service industry very well. I agree with your points about courtesy and respect on both sides. Politeness costs nothing, yet gains everything. An enlightening read.

Anoop Kashyap on April 28, 2021:

Nice and informative content in the article.

VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on April 27, 2021:

Thank you Liz. Yes, as customers, we know how it feels when we don't get proper service. Having worked in a customer centric finance institution, it felt good when we were able to solve their problems and help the customers. The gratitude they expressed made our day.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 27, 2021:

This is a fascinating article. It is applicable to us all. Even if we are not ourselves providing a service, we are all customers. This gives an interesting insight into the service industry.

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