I often ask business owners what makes their business unique – why would a customer choose them over a competitor. The answer is often Customer Service.
Customer service can be a powerful part of your overall Product. But beware thinking it is something you can claim as a selling point. Everyone says they have excellent service, so few believe you when you say it. Service is like Love – it only exists in the experience, not the words. But even when you have excellent service, it is rarely unique. Most companies have good service, so how will you stand out? It’s no good having 10% or 20% better service. It won’t be noticeable.
If Service is to be your claim to fame, it had better be way over the top, smack you in the face service. To do that means you have to consciously focus on and design your service “moments of truth”. It had better be the topic of DAILY team communications and be well documented what “service” means to your business. You can’t just “take care of the customer” to have your business be renowned for it’s service.
Tom Peters used the example of coffee stains on the tray table of an aircraft, which may cause a passenger to question the maintenance of the airplane. That’s a Moment of Truth – you must constantly be identifying and designing these moments.
Every aspect of your customer interaction has to be designed with care to maximize the impact. Where in the sales process will you WOW them with your attention to detail, your thoughtfulness? Name 10 SIGNIFICANT differences between your service and your competitors. Now name 10 MORE! If you can’t, or the differences are small, Customer Service is not a key to your success.
Good luck in your Quest!