To really outshine your competition, you must be customer-focused.
A customer-focused company looks first at the best ways to serve its customers before anything else. It listens to customers and acts upon their needs.
And it pays off..
The following statistics show that companies can charge more for excellent service:
1. Most customers will spend at least 10 percent more for the same product with better service.
2. When a customer receives bad service, he or she tells at least 20 people.
3. When a customer receives good service, he or she tells up to 10 people.
4. If customers’ complaints are handled quickly and pleasantly, at least 80 percent of customers will repurchase from that company.
5. If the service is bad, at least 90 percent of customers will not return.
6. If your employees provider take the time to establish a relationship and create a rapport with the customer, almost all transactions were completed faster and more efficiently.
You must close the gap between service and customer expectations. This creates a tremendous opportunity for your company to do better than your competitors and gain market share. You can only close the gap if you understand your customers’ needs.
These are some characteristics of a customer-focused company:
1. They reward staff when they achieve customer satisfaction.
2. Managers support staff in doing their jobs well, and the staff focus on customer satisfaction.
3. Employees are promoted and rewarded for good customer service skills.
4. Employees are trained to provide outstanding customer service.
5. All employees know their customers and greet them by name.
6. Employee feedback is regularly sought and considered on key customer issues before decisions are made.
7. Regular tracking of customer satisfaction is part of the business.
8. Customer satisfaction results are brought to every employee’s attention at each level, from senior management to production workers.
9. Every department considers the results and has input on how to improve the results.
10. Departments with the highest customer service scores are acknowledged and rewarded.
Never underestimate the importance of ongoing, regular follow-up. You must constantly seek feedback from your customers, employees, and anyone who comes in contact with your customers. If management doesn’t continually seek feedback, then it risks the “gap.” Management must know without any doubt that their perception and the customers’ perception of good service are the same.
About the Author
Jo Ann Joy is the CEO and owner of Indigo Business Solutions, a legal and business consulting firm. Indigo Business Solutions is a “one stop shop” for small businesses and can offer most of the professional services that a business requires. They work with clients to develop strategies that create value and competitive advantage.