Will your customers find excellence in the details of dealing with your company? Ultimately it is the detail that distinguishes one competitor from the next. As an example, we were recently looking for a supplier delivering a specific service that we did not have any prior experience with. We did our research and found that that particular service industry had two major role players. When we decided to make contact with them, we had absolutely no preference, so our initial plan of action was to get a quote from both of them and base our decision on that. Interestingly enough company A promptly answered their telephone line when we phoned, was friendly and professional over the phone and by responding impressively promptly on our enquiry, had an exclusivity contract signed and sealed with us within 36 hours of us first making contact with them. Company B had listed the incorrect phone number on their website and to date has not provided us with any feedback on our email enquiry. Although it could be that their pricing is more lucrative than that of company A, by not paying attention to the detail of having the correct telephone number on their website or swiftly responding to email enquiries received, they have lost out on gaining our business going forward. Not only on the revenue, but also on that portion of market share – not to mention whose name will come to mind first when we refer others wanting to make use of the same type of service.
What will your customers find in the details of dealing with your business? Are you easy and pleasant to deal with? Do you delight them at every opportunity? Is your communication with them clear and your documentation accurate? Are they clear on what they can expect from you and do you deliver? Are you reliable? Are you easy to get a hold of? Are you quick to provide feedback and flexible in providing the custom requirements of each of your clients? How can you make life easier for them?
Be careful that you do not mistakenly assume that your customers are as familiar with your internal processes as you are. Even if you have included very specific stipulations in your terms and conditions, you may be surprised how few of your customers actually take the time to familiarize themselves with it. If you are continuously getting the same questions or complaints, this should alert you to something that should be very clearly stated to and understood by your customers before you accept their purchase order. Let us take Sally as an example. Sally has decided to make use of company X based on the recommendation of her brother Peter. Sally receives a copy of the standard contract from company X, but does not take the time to read through all of the detail herself, arguing that Peter is usually very thorough with these things, so she trusts that if he was comfortable to work with company X, so is she. After two weeks has passed, Sally becomes frustrated that she has not heard anything since from company X and when she phones them, she finds out that it is because they are waiting for her to send some information as stipulated in the contract. Although you may deem it unfair for her to now be disappointed with the service from company X, the reality is that she now has a negative perception of this business and feels that she cannot trust them anymore.
A wonderful source of improvement ideas are employee and customer surveys. Time and again our customers are pleasantly surprised at the vast amount of great ideas that they get when they start to ask questions around how they can improve the level of customer service that they provide. By making sure that you do everything you do exceptionally well and by continuously looking for opportunities on how you can improve, you are sure to stay a step ahead of your competitors.
Click the link below to view the complete A2C Newsflash Volume 2 Issue 43 – It is in the detail