Does Your Business Stand Out In Your Customers Minds? - Column #191
Consumers have a variety of businesses from which to choose when they’re in the market for a certain product or service. Moreover, they’re increasingly discerning with their hard-earned money when looking to satisfy their wants and needs. That makes it more important than ever for businesses to consistently deliver high-quality products and services.
Exceptional companies stand out in a good way in the hearts and minds of their customers by consistently providing high-quality customer service experiences.
Take a moment and consider your recent experiences when spending your financial resources. Out of your last 10 experiences, how many companies really stood out as exceptional? How many were mediocre? And how many of those experiences were downright poor? Most likely, the majority of your experiences were mediocre, a few were poor and even fewer were exceptional.
Now, reflect on the defining qualities of each of these experiences. Did you feel welcomed and appreciated? Were you treated with dignity and respect? Did the product or service you purchased exceed your wants and needs? Would you buy from this company again? Would you, without hesitation, refer your family and friends to do business with this company? Are you happy to have conducted business with this establishment?
In your honest answers to these and other questions lies the secret to greater professional success. By understanding what you value most in your consumer experiences and then duplicating these in your business for your customers, 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 paltry experience for a regular customer to stop doing business with you and then share that negative experience with countless others. It costs next to nothing to earn high-quality referrals from your customers. But it’s very costly to have consumers think poorly of you and your business.
Consistency in several key areas is vital to building and operating a standout business. It’s your steadfast commitment to excellence and consistency that enables you to maintain that position over time.
A caring team: When owners hire managers and team members who care, they create teams of people who hold themselves personally accountable to delivering to others the same kind of customer experiences they want for 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 feel that, the company’s reputation is tarnished and revenues are lost.
Training and skill development: If your goal is to help team members be their best on a consistent basis, it’s imperative to offer ongoing training and skills development in the areas of communication, customer service, leadership, listening, relationship-building and sales. Effective training will position your company to operate at the highest standards and meet, and even 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 deliver an exceptional experience each and every time they connect with your customers.
Exceptional customer service: Creating an exceptional customer service experience on a consistent basis begins with the owners. When those who have brought the company into existence are integrity based and endeavor to give customers more reasons to say “yes” and fewer reasons to say “no,” the likelihood of operating an extraordinary company increases.
Making it right: Being a standout 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.
It’s the quality of each customer experience that matters most. The critical ingredients of an 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.