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“We are a country built of entrepreneurs. All of the biggest problems in the world are solved by entrepreneurs.”
Kevin J. Berk hopes he has the solution to a problem that many businesses face: How to improve customer service.
Citing a recent study, Berk says, “80% of businesses believe they are delivering great customer service, but only 8% actually are. You don’t have to do a whole lot. Just respond to people if you can.”
Berk, a serial entrepreneur who says he’s always had a deep passion for customer service, recently launched “Service Guru”, a web interface that allows customers to hold service professionals accountable.
As owner of AZ On The Rocks, a climbing and yoga facility located in Scottsdale, Arizona, Berk knows what it’s like to run a business. He also runs social media for several popular establishments, like Pita Jungle, considered one of the best at paying attention to customers.
“For every one person that complains, 26 people go quietly into the night and never come back,” Berk remarks.
One of his mentors is Jay Baer, author of “Hug Your Haters”. He cites Baer’s advice, “Respond to everyone, everywhere, every time. The number one thing in responding to a guest is speed. Speed saves relationships.”
Service Guru recently launched in Arizona. Early adopters include Pita Jungle, Alto Ristarante e Bar at the Hyatt Gainey Ranch, and a new, highly anticipated restaurant at the trendy Scottsdale Quarter called Breakfast Kitchen Bar. Berk says the owners are building it “with Service Guru in their DNA.”
“They get how important customer service is,” he adds.
It costs a fee for businesses to opt in, but Service Guru is free for employees and customers. Employees aggregate their reviews into their Service Resume, which stays with them throughout their service career. For employers, the advantage, according to Berk, is getting real-time insight as to how their employees are doing from the only people who matter, their customers.
Service professionals are rated on four categories: Appearance, knowledge, responsiveness and personality. All of the comments are public.
And while some businesses have been quick to sign on and show the world how well (hopefully) their employees are doing, others, he says, are hesitant.
“We’ve talked to a lot of businesses who have said no to Service Guru because they don’t want to know. They are in denial.”
Berk maintains accountability is what makes a business better.
Berk and his team are running a contest to put their money where their mouth is. They will award the highest rated employees from participating establishments one thousand dollars each. Two stand out customer service professionals will be selected every month leading up to a bigger prize that Service Guru plans to reveal down the road. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges.
All of this, Berk hopes, will empower customer service professionals and businesses to see how they are really doing — and improve where it is necessary.
He says you don’t ever want a customer to leave your establishment and when asked about the service use a four letter word: FINE!
Fine is not good enough for entrepreneurs like Kevin Berk. He started this venture with big things in mind. Service Guru launched in Arizona but Berk and his partners hope to take it worldwide. When asked if he was worried about taking on this — or any other — new challenge, Berk says, “Fear is the big limiter in everybody’s life. I think you just have to go for it.”
For more on service guru and the contest that is live now, visit serviceguru.com