When I started in the landscape-snow industry some thirty years ago building customer relationships were handled much differently than today. Today; customer expectations and behaviors have changed dramatically. Today; companies must exceed the customers’ expectations with every interaction in return for customer loyalty. Your ability to deliver exceptional customer service is directly tied to your organizations DNA or ‘customer-centricity’. This mind-set must be imbedded within every person with your organization.
“Quality work is not an exception, it is a daily expectation”
As a landscape-snow industry business owner, executive and now consultant, it’s easy for me to talk about customer service. I know that in order to have a UVP (unique value proposition) you must distinguish yourself from your competitors. A culture of being a customer-centric organization is one of the best ways to disguising yourself from others.
“While we all do the same thing, we don’t all deliver it in the same fashion” –
While many companies feel they operate this type of business model, the customer service model is often diluted by operational constraints and service delivery issues. Whether the aforementioned is real or perceived, the loss of focus with the customer-centric initiatives results in nothing more than lip-service to the client.
‘Best In Class’; everyone wants to fall into this category with their service model- While many companies strive to deliver this mantra, sometimes they lose sight of the bigger picture of just delivering to the customer what they actually want.
The 7 Steps of Delivering Exceptional Customer Service
1. Top down management, leading the customer-centric delivery model starts with top-line managers and trickles down through the ranks.
2. You must understand the need of the customer in order to deliver what they want.
3. Design the customer-service experience that best-fits your business model.
4. Empower, your front-line team members as the end result lies on them.
5. Support operations at every-level of the business model during the service delivery process. This starts at the first phone call through project completion.
6. Create the culture! Continually encourage the cultural behaviors of your organization to deliver the exceptional customer service experience.
7. Feedback, both internal and external feedback is imperative to know how you are doing or how you can improve the customer-service experience.
“Your customer-centric delivery model must include clear metrics which will help you define success as well as accountability to deliver and maintain exceptional service delivery”
In the end, being unique is not only what you do, it’s how you do it-
Looking for a good book on the subject, suggested reading;
- The Visionary Leader: How to inspire success from the top down.
- Susan Bagyura (Author), Michael E. Gerber (Foreword), Fiona Dempsey (Illustrator)