When Apple released their new iPhone 3G, customers expected the phones to work. Instead, in a product launch disaster, a customer focused organization with great technical support and having customers in 22 countries was left hanging. As the PC World headline read: "Apple Loses its Shine"! Instead of exceeding customer expectations with a brand new product that wowed new users, the company failed to meet even basic expectations and jeopardized its reputation with loyal users.
Think about your loyalty quotient. To what businesses are you loyal and why? If you will take a few minutes to think about this, you may discover the link to loyalty in your own business! Is there a restaurant you regularly frequent? Why? Probably NOT because they serve good food - that is expected and many restaurants fill that need. It could be because their food is exceptional every time, the service is exceptional, and the atmosphere unique. To achieve loyalty, then, we have to surpass just being good at what we do. And, loyalty must be identified as a goal of the organization. Customer service is the key factor that helps to achieve this goal.
The challenge in today's turbulent environment for business leaders is how to set yourself apart from other service providers, and position your organization for positive growth. The simple (yet too often missed) answer is through exceptional customer service! Ultimately what determines whether a customer chooses to do business with your organization or practice versus a competitor usually boils down to relationships...how you make him or her feel. Exceptional customer service is not an accident, yet a very focused, planned and well executed strategy led by customer centric leaders.
A customer centric leader understands that we need to look at service through the eyes of our customers, and look for opportunities to put a personal thumb print on each interaction we have with customers.
"Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game.
Service wins the game."