This article is about getting you to look at wowing your customers to build a strategic advantage over your competition. In tough times we know gaining new business will be tougher than ever; let's focus on impressing and retaining our customers.
Moving your organization from delivering adequate customer service to building that WOW capability will be difficult. People will resist. People will find ways to sabotage any change movement. People will say they are too busy.
Wowing the customer builds the organization's reputation and overall brand. Employees will not always understand this; therefore, it is IMPERATIVE that management challenges employees and coaches them to a level beyond what they're willing to do.
According to US News and World Report, the average American business loses 15 per cent of its customer base each year, and 68% of customers who stop buying from one business to buy from another due so due to poor or indifferent customer services.
1. Develop a Customer Service Mission Statement
This mission statement should clearly convey your company's specific objectives as they relate to customer service. It should be dedicated to building an organizational perspective of what WOWING the customer is truly about. It is imperative to communicate the mission statement with your customers AND your employees. This could include signs throughout the organization, internal employee newsletters, and incentives for good work, all to keep the mission alive as well as communicate its successes.
2. Customer Service is Attitude AND Action
Its one thing to be willing to offer great customer service, however willingness means nothing without action. Employees need to be encouraged to take matters into their own hands and impress clients.
3. Base Training
Employees must be trained on customer service and best practices. Base training should include 3 major components - workshops, discussion, and real world activity.
Coaching is imperative to helping employees embrace the techniques taught, and form new positive attitudes about the program.
5. Creative Thank You's
Most people will NOT take the time to say thank you because they are too busy, so make this a common practice in your organization. If your competition is to busy while you make the time, you will truly stand out. A simple hand written note is all it takes
6. Engage Engage Engage
Have your staff learn three new things about clients daily. Engagement represents going above and beyond any effort they have made in their career up to this point.
Building a customer service driven organization has many components that rely on one another. It is critical the organization embraces this movement from the top down and challenges employees to go above and beyond any past level of customer service they have experienced. This endeavor will come with pain, frustration, and ultimately an unbelievable exhilaration of developing deep and worthwhile customer relationships.
About the Author:
Tim Hagen is President of Sales Progress LLC, a sales consulting and performance management firm. He has authored an entire program dedicated to asking, listening, solving client needs called The 3 Question Selling System. This program has 5 modules taking you from basics of cold calling to specific questioning techniques guaranteed to uncover customer needs and an entire practice system to help perfect this easy to use selling system.