Businesses spend tremendous amounts time on “positioning.” It’s the exercise of determining who they are in the market, where they excel and how they’re different. But how much time is spent critically looking at the level of service provided to customers and determining how it can be improved? This is a key consideration for every business and one that should even take precedence over any positioning strategies.
In our digital world, the customer has (or should have) more ways to interact with a business. The opportunity to serve both existing and potential customers has grown exponentially. The stakes are also higher for falling short on service. Customers can easily communicate their disappointment very quickly within their various social media communities. This will easily undermine our positioning tactics within our markets.
In a world of mediocre service, providing exceptional customer service is an immediate differentiator. You won’t need extensive messaging developed about your brand; the customer recognizes great service when he or she sees it. By delivering service at this level, beyond expectations, you will have created a strong impression that won’t quickly be forgotten. These are the kinds of impressions that lead to repeat (and new) business.
When assessing the service provided at your business, start with these questions:
- Do we willingly and happily communicate with customers?
- Do we offer multiple ways to interact with us and access
our products or services?
- Do we work at understanding our customers and forming
relationships with them?
- Do we respond quickly all the time?
- Are we open and honest?
- Do we share content with them at no charge?
- Do we adapt to their needs and forgo rigid policies, if
Great service is not as complicated as it might seem. It starts with a willingness and commitment to this concept, even if the cost is high. The rewards will far outweigh the costs in the long run. By doing these things consistently, you’ll create a strong brand position for your business.
Let me know your thoughts. How have you improved service at your business?
Author: Steve Sonn
Steve Sonn is the Principal of S2 Marketing Communications. He has more than 25 years of marketing and PR experience with health care and business-to-business companies.