Creating Customer Experiences: The Human Side of Service
In today’s high-choice marketplace, an exceptional customer experience is absolutely critical to ensuring a company’s long-term growth and brand strength.
A great customer experience is more than a business imperative it is now the single strongest competitive differentiator. According to Aristotle, “Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” Excellence is also doing ordinary things extraordinarily well—every time.
Good Service Is Not Good Enough
Whether ordering up your morning coffee, picking clothes up at the dry cleaner, dining in a restaurant or staying at a hotel, one aspect of these simple transactions is universal. We all want to have an exceptional customer service experience. Good service is not good enough anymore. Great service is what customers are hoping you serve up.
Every day we all play the role of customers. We make decisions about what to buy and where to go based on the level of service we receive at the counter, over the phone or on the internet. Guess what, so do your customers.
Excellence in business requires constant improvement to current processes, systems and goals. It never occurs by accident. It always occurs as a result of quality thinking and purposeful execution. Doing everything on purpose with a purpose is what creates long lasting results. Any business not striving to be more excellent will soon find itself vulnerable to the competition.
Keeping Customers Happy
Companies who want to grow their business must keep existing customers happy. Customers are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, savvy and demanding. It’s the exceptional customer service that keeps them coming back, even more than your products or services. If they are unhappy or feel badly treated, they will vote with their feet. They also openly share their unhappiness with others. Today’s communication networks make it simple for people to share their experience, good or bad, with more than their immediate circle. Websites like Yelp, Site Jabber and Pissed Consumer, to name a few, is where they are voicing their experiences and opinions.
Customers are drawn to excellence, so start with a focus on them, not you. To differentiate you from the competition, stop giving lip service to customer excellence and back it up with action. Word of mouth is the most targeted and effective form of advertising. You can’t buy it – it is a free gift from your satisfied customers.
Going above and beyond for your customers will ensure they’re satisfied and impressed by your efforts. This will not only positively affect the customer’s mood and interaction with you, but it will motivate the customer to refer your helpful actions to others.
Customer service excellence gives you the competitive advantage you need to survive in a tough and increasingly uncertain business climate. How you handle your customers can directly affect your individual goals as well as your team’s and company’s performance.
Companies that develop these skills will gain respect, enhance customer relationships and secure an overall competitive advantage through exceptional customer service. Continue to pursue excellence and success will always follow.
About the author
Liz Wendling is the president of Insight Business Consultants, a nationally recognized business consultant,…