We all have slightly different expectations of what makes for exceptional customer service. Whether the business interaction takes place at a local supermarket, auto repair shop or a corporate office, how you exceed your customer expectations can take your relationships from good to great, increase customer loyalty and create a culture of excellence within your company.
With more than 100 years of collective management experience, here are three rules that we have identified as being key to successfully delivering exceptional customer service.
SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
It is often the attention to smallest details that can have the biggest impact, especially when it comes to customer service. For example, think about the last time you took your car in to be serviced. If you are a repeat customer, were you greeted by name? Did the owner or manager personally thank you for your business? Was it a standard visit or did the staff offer unexpected, personal touches that made it an exceptional experience? Regardless of the industry, it’s not just the “what”, but also the “how” that defines exceptional service. As they say, the devil is in the details.
Exceptional customer service is all in the little things; and it requires a companywide commitment to deliver on that promise. From owners, managers and supervisors, to the people who perform those all-important everyday tasks, exceptional customer service should be the standard, not the exception.
CAN WE TALK?
You don’t know what you don’t know. We are routinely talking with property owners and managers about how we can better meet their needs. If there is a problem we don’t know about, we can’t fix it.
· 80% of companies claim their customer service ranks “superior”, but in reality only 8% of their customers agree. – Harvard Business Journal.
· 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain. Of those quietly dissatisfied customers, 91% will leave and never come back. – 1st Financial Times Services.
· Price is not the main reason customers leave, it’s actually due to poor quality of customer service. – Accenture customer acquisition and retention report.
We approach our business partners as just that – partners. The more regular and robust our communication at all levels, the better we can develop meaningful — and mutually profitable—relationships.
DO EVERYTHING BETTER
“Excellence is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities.”—Aristotle
In today’s economy, there is always a competitor who will find a way to do what you do cheaper and faster. However, exceptional customer service can give you a competitive advantage. A customer is 4 times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related vs. price or product related (Bain & Company). From new technologies, to better products, to creating more efficiencies, there is always an opportunity to innovate. We don’t just want to offer great service. Our goal is to offer the best service in the industry. How do we do that? We hire great people, train them well and then we regularly ask them (and our customers) – how can we do better?
At the end of the day, we all know customer service is important, but just how important is it? Exceptional customer service offers dramatically superior experience for your business and your customers – it also has an exceptionally positive contribution to your bottom line. 80% of your future profits will come from just 20% of your existing customers.