How do you develop a customer service strategy that constantly sets your business apart from the competition?
The answer: You let both your customers and employees tell you how!
What does that mean?
Ask your customers why they chose your business over your competition.
Do they chose your business because:
- your service is better than the competition?
- your prices are better?
- your location is easiest to get to?
- your employees know how to please the customers?
- your selection of products are better?
- your payment terms are favorable?
- you products and service improve your customers image (exclusive)?
- your save customers money?
- you allow your customers to become wealthy?
- your improve their health?
- you make them more attractive?
- There are four basic needs that all humans have they are Reward, Recognition, Reincarnation, and Recreation. These basic needs are the driving forces that cause people to make buying decisions.
They should also be the basis on which you build the strategy in your business.
"Customer service is the experience we deliver to our customer. It's the promise we keep to the customer. It's how we follow through for the customer. It's how we make them feel when they do business with us." - Shep Hyken, Customer Service Expert and New York Times bestselling Author
Determining an Effective Strategy for Your Business
If you ask, your customers will define your strategy clearly. But, you must ask. How will you ask your customers? You are limited only by your imagination!
Here are a few recommendations to get you started:
- Follow up calls after a customer has purchased.
- Use social media to directly interact with your customers.
- Post cards sent to ask for feedback on their buying experience.
- Formal and informal meetings to let customers speak freely about why they patronize your business.
- Face-to-face (with your sales personnel) ask for feedback.
- Send a survey with your invoice.
- Require the person who work in accounts payable to ask for customer feedback.
Set up regularly scheduled meetings with your sales personnel. If they are in continuous communication with your customers they will be able to provide the reasons customers chose your business over the competition.
When you are collecting payments (if you offer terms) customers are most vocal about what they do not like about your business. This is information you can use to make positive changes.
Determine what your competition is doing that attracts and retains customers. Do not feel uncomfortable in duplicating what works effectively.
Lets assume you have used all four methods of gathering customer feedback. You are now ready to define the strategy for your business.
Start by creating a list of all the information you have assembled.
Review this list with all of the personnel in your business.
Now you will be able to rank or prioritize the needs your customers have defined for you.
"Customer service is an opportunity to exceed your customer's expectations." -John Jantsch, President at Duct Tape Marketing
Your Can't Stop There
Now it is time to document what these needs are and how your business will fulfill these needs.
You must set standards and objectives for every part of your business.
How do you set these standards? Start by asking your employees to take the Revolutionary Service survey.
The results of this survey will help you in developing the strategy you develop for your business.
You should compile the answers you receive from the survey.
Establish the Standards
From the information you have obtained from both your customers and your employees establish a series of meetings with your employees to discuss the findings. From the meetings you will be able to develop a strategy that will set you apart from your competition.
In order for your strategy to be effective and measurable you must set a standard or objective for each of the questions in the Revolutionary Service survey. Good Luck!