In a competitive world of business; with organisations offering virtually the same service, the only way to outgrow or stand out from the crowd is the quality of service before and after.
In any given business environment or rather industry, entities operating within that space offer the same services or products to the same set of customers. The result is competition to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
Businesses seek to maximise profit, likewise customers seek to maximise value. “Where Business A and B offer the same service, how can A convince an indifferent customer that he or she can get more value from the same product being offered for almost the same price elsewhere”.
Quite a lot of business environments fall within this scenario painted in the introduction: Banking, Online Stores, Supermarkets, Manufacturing, Investments Companies etc.
For the purpose of this presentation, we could safely assume that all competing business possess the following parameters:
Each operate within the same geographical location or accessible.
Each offer virtually the same set of service or product.
Each incurs basically the same cost in terms of production or Service cost.
None enjoys monopoly or extra advantage from Government. Give or take, a typical customer/client either patronise Business A or Business B.
So What is Customer Service
Customer : ˈkʌstəmə/ a person who buys goods or services from a shop or business [Simple Definition by Google]
Service: ˈsəːvɪs/ assistance or advice given to customers during and after the sale of goods [Simple Definition by Google]
Combining both words and we have what is expected of any typical business. Either you intend to do so or not, you already offer Customer Service even in its lenient form
• Directing a Walk-in-Customer to the right department.
• Displaying and advising a client on what to buy, how to pay, where to pay etc
• Packaging the goods and delivery.
• Keeping your phone line open for clients to inquire and make complain.
• Offering to refund for damaged goods, or replacing a defected part.
• Even saying Hello to a Visitor in your store or Business premise is Customer Service.
In-variably we all offer Customer Service. However not all of us offer Exceptional Customer Service.
What it means to be Exceptional:
Without looking at the Dictionary, we could conjure up a thousand words for this:
Standing Out | Being Unique | Going the Extra Mile | Being the Best | Achieving Higher Standards | Upping your Game | Excellence in Service Delivery | Etc….. Or rather still you can slot in your own words.
Back to Business!!
You are entity A, you offer the same service as Entity B, you most likely share the same premises or location. And as already mentioned, you both offer Customer Service.
If you are to outsmart Entity B and gain more market share, you need to do things differently.
Sometimes, lowering prices won’t do the trick, not in all cases. You may end up running at a loss and closing down business.
Increasing your cost might not help in the Long term – When customers realise it is still the same service they are been offered, they go back.
What can you do differently then – I’d rather say you go back to our Conjured List
Achieving Exceptional Customer Service:
Please feel free to re-coin the words in whatever language you deem fit. The Key understanding is treating your clients better and making yourself more relevant.
Yes you have a business presence ! Showcasing is one thing, getting across is another. Beyond the norm is ensuring the customer can reach you in the fastest and easiest way possible. This rule applies to both New and Existing clients: A customer walking into the Banking Hall and seeing a huge queue can be easily turned off. A phone-in client who wants to make inquiries and had to wait endlessly before being connected can as well drop the call.
How can this be achieved:
• Create more alternative means for reaching you – Emails, Social Media, Web.
• Enlarge the size of your Inquiry Team/Desk.
• Spread to more locations to be easily reached.
• Ensure your calls are not ignored and reduce the waiting time list.
This sums up a whole lot of skills bundled in one. Most times Training is required to achieve this goal. Staff attending to customers must be attentive, Patient, Communicate appropriately, cultured and display a high level of positive mannerism.
How can this be achieved?
Train your staff, train them again, continue to train them and never stop training them.
Permit me to digress a little bit here. You see, I have met quite a lot of people who complain about GTBank’s customer service however they still bank with GTBank. You should know why if you are a GTBank customer, the Innovation is un-paralled. The other points noted previously will score you high on Good Customer Attitude but #Innovation will give you an A in Service Delivery
The fact that you keep getting better in delivery value to your clients will put you in their top charts. And most times you don’t necessarily have to always do something new, just do the same thing better and in a different way is all that needed.
To your Business Success Folks!!!
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