Are You in the Customer Service Industry?

Only about 26% of companies have a well-developed strategy in place focused on improving the customer experience.  One reason, although not the only reason, is because some companies don’t think of themselves as being in the customer service business.

Why do I say that? Because I’ve heard each of the three phrases below:

  • “We don’t need a customer service strategy. We don’t sell to the public.”
  • “We’re not in (pick one of the following: retail, food service, tourism) so I don’t see how one would help us.”
  • “Our sector is different.”

Guess what ? It doesn’t matter if you’re not selling shoes, burgers or hotel rooms … you are in the service industry! Perhaps your customers aren’t called customers.  Perhaps your customers are called:

  • Members
  • Patients
  • Clients
  • Unit holders
  • Civilians
  • Citizens

Perhaps instead of selling a burger, gourmet dinner, shoes, clothes or place to stay for a night or you two, you sell:

  • Club or association memberships
  • Advice (a.k.a. peace of mind) related to health, finances, law, etc.
  • Products that other companies need to make their product

Regardless of what you call your customers, you have them.  Without members, clubs and associations die.  Lousy service to unit holders means condo boards looks for a different management company.

It doesn’t matter if you are the first, the middle or the final link in the supply chain, you have a customer.  And that means you need to put a plan in place to keep them coming back to you, instead of going to another lawyer, doctor, dentist, investor, supplier, manufacturer or yes, hotel, restaurant or retail outlet.

Your customers needs, wants and expectations may be unique to your industry but the foundation for creating a strong customer service strategy is the same:

  1. Know your customers and create service standards based on their wants, needs and expectations.
  2. Identify where and how you can exceed those expectations.
  3. Identify where you could potentially fail to meet those expectations and put a plan in place to eliminate the risk or minimize the damage.
  4. Hire and train a strong service team.
  5. Create and implement a strong internal customer service strategy.
Excellent customer service builds loyalty and customer retention.  One more stat to wrap up … a 2%increase in customer retention has the same effect on profits as cutting costs by 10%. (Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy and Mark Murphy).  It makes good business sense to focus on creating a positive experience for your customer, regardless of what your customer is called.

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To speak to Laurie about creating a customer service strategy for your business, call her at 204-995-5836 or click here for a free consult.   If you’re in Winnipeg or the surrounding area, a two day workshop, as part of the ‘New Era of Influence’ is being offered.  Click here for more information.

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