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>After weeks of stalling, I finally went out this past weekend to purchase a new computer and a new phone. Both rather challenging purchases because with all the various options and features on each product, I knew it would be a difficult decision in both cases.

The first stop was Verizon Wireless early Saturday afternoon. Upon entering the store, I was quickly greeted and asked if I needed help. I was taken under the wing of the salesperson who began asking pertinent questions as to my needs and usage for the phone. Within minutes, it was easy to make a choice after which I was escorted to the checkout counter and introduced to Kim. Kim processed the purchase and before I could even form the question, she asked if I’d like her to transfer my contacts. Within minutes, she had activated my email, transferred my contacts, provided all the information to receive a rebate and I was out the door – a very happy customer with a brand new fully functioning Blackberry.

Now charged up after such a wonderful experience, I headed to Best Buy for the computer. I received my greeting upon entering the store and was shown to the computer section. A salesperson asked if he could help. With his knowledge and expertise, I felt comfortable and confident in choosing the right fit computer. He processed the transaction, gave me my receipts and thanked me for my business. I felt great again about this experience! What do people mean: high tech, no touch? Well, it was about to begin…. I asked if the information from my old computer could be transferred to the new one. Certainly, was the response – our Geek Squad can take care of that for you.

Promises made of 2 hours became 2 days. In trying to determine the status of my computer, I found that reaching someone in the department was nearly impossible. Questions that should have been asked were not, so the process was dragged out even longer. Finally, I went to the store and sat in the waiting area (they now have chairs provided so you don’t have to stand while waiting). Six people were waiting, one employee was working. After 20 minutes the line hadn’t moved, the gentleman next to me stood and said to no one in particular “OK, you win, I’m outta here”. I slide over one spot – all I wanted to do is pick up my computer! 45 minutes later out the door I walk only to be stopped by the greeter to “check” my purchase . A bad final taste was left with me, the high touch definitely missing after the product had been sold and ended up tainting the entire experience.

A Service Map is a tool to examine all the points of contact throughout the entire experience one has with an organization. Its purpose is to identify what is mediocre service at each point and how to raise the bar to make it Excellent at all possible and potential points, not just the “sales” point.  See example Service Map

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