Do Your Customers Believe You’re Exceptional? - Column #160
Exceptional companies stand out in a good way in the hearts and minds of their customers. Companies accomplish this feat by delivering high-quality customer service experiences on a consistent basis.
Consumers not only have a variety of businesses from which to choose when they’re in the market for a certain product or service, but they’re also increasingly discerning when looking to satisfy their wants and needs. Consequently, it’s more important than ever to consistently deliver high-quality products and services to stand out in a positive way.
Take a moment and consider your recent experiences. Out of your last 10 experiences, how many stood out as exceptional? How many were mediocre? And how many were downright poor? Most likely, most of your experiences were mediocre, a few poor and even fewer exceptional.
Now, reflect on the defining qualities that created each of these experiences. Did you feel welcome and appreciated? Were you treated with dignity and respect? Did the product or service you purchased exceed your wants and needs? Will you buy from this company again? Would you, without hesitation, refer your family and friends to do business with them, too? Are you happy to have done business with this entity?
In your honest answers to these and other questions you ask yourself lies the secret to greater professional success. By understanding what you value most in your consumer experiences and then duplicating these in your business, your company will stand out in a good way. In turn, you’ll benefit from increased referrals and enjoy more success.
Your business can consistently deliver high-quality products and services for years, but it only takes one bad experience for a regular customer to stop doing business with you and then share that negative experience with countless others. It truly costs next to nothing to earn high quality referrals from your customers, but it costs a lot to have consumers think poorly of you and your business.
Consistency in several key areas is vital to operating and building a stand-out business, and it’s your steadfast commitment to excellence and consistency that will allow you to maintain that position over time.
Exceptional customer service: Creating an exceptional customer service experience on a consistent basis starts with the owners. When those who’ve brought the company into existence are integrity based and endeavor to give their customers more reasons to say “yes” and fewer reasons to say “no,” the likelihood of operating an extraordinary company increases.
A caring team: When a company hires managers and team members who care, they assemble a team of people who hold themselves personally accountable to delivering the same kind of customer experiences they would want themselves. Conversely, when team members don’t work with the intention of being their best and caring for customers — both in their attitudes and behaviors — customers sense that, the business reputation suffers and revenues are lost.
Training and skill development: If your goal is to help your team members be their best on a consistent basis, it’s imperative to offer ongoing training and skills development in communication, customer service, leadership, relationship-building and sales. Effective training will position your company to operate at the highest standards possible and exceed the desires of your growing clientele. By instilling and supporting a positive mindset and helping them to develop the necessary skills, your caring team members will be positioned to deliver an exceptional experience each and every time they connect with your valuable customers.
Making it right: Operating a stand-out company isn’t about being perfect. It is, however, about the pursuit of excellence and giving your absolute best day in and day out. When you or your team drop the ball with a customer, your integrity must sweep in — no matter what — and make it right for the patron who makes operating your business possible in the first place.
It’s the quality of each individual customer experience that matters most. The critical ingredients of a consistently exceptional experience are exceptional people, exceptional products and exceptional services. Get these right on a consistent basis, and your business will always stand out as one of the greats in the hearts and minds of your customers.