Many small businesses choose to differentiate themselves on the basis of their service. I get it and it is a worthwhile ambition.
Where it falls apart is in the communication and the execution of this vision.
John DiJulius in his book What’s the Secret gives us a formular to follow to create a service that is markertable as your point of difference.
1. Step one Service Vision – Define a clear purpose for why your business exists? It is analysing how your vision will make a positive impact on your staff and clients. I see many that have the slogans, “we treat you better,” “you deserve the best” but those words are not consistently acted upon along the customer experience. The vision should be inspirational and it should relate to your brand promise, otherwise as DiJulius explains ” it may as well be a fuzzy bumper sticker with no meaning”. Once you have your vision, you need it to come to life. Link it to your story, brand it in messaging daily and present awards and recognition to encourage it. When I have been involved with CEO where we put some real energy, research customer insights into developing a meaningful vision and effectively communicated it, whole company got behind it and it definitely has been a point of difference in the customer experience felt by customers. This focused goal to deliver the components of service that are important for your customer is a daily responsibility of everyone in the business and it is so critical that they understand the part they play. As to are the systems that support that customer service experience and make it consistent every time.
• Creating a World Class Internal Culture – Attract, hire, and retain only the people who have genuine Service DNA
• Non-negotiable Experiential Standards – Create benchmarks your people absolutely must meet during every customer contact
• Secret Service Systems – Utlilise Customer Intelligence to personalise service and anticipate customer needs – Ways to profile buyers and share critical data across your organisation
• Training to Provide a World-Class Customer Experience
– Systems and processes that eliminate variation and
provide a consistent customer experience • Implementation and Execution – How to go from ideas
on paper to flawless real-time follow through • Zero Risk – Anticipate service defects and put action
plans in place to correct mistakes immediately – Eliminate the sticking points that may keep customers from doing business with you
• Building an ‘Above and Beyond’ Culture – Inspire frontline service heroism every day – Create awareness and buy-in for service excellence in every member of your team – Make the World-Class Customer Experience integral to your brand
• Measuring Your Customer Experience – Identify and track the metrics that matter to your customers (and focus your efforts accurately to improve your performance)
• World-Class Service Leadership – Walking the Talk – provide superior service internally, in your community and at home.
My new business Strategic Service Design is focused on the action of converting expectations of your customer into actions. It is bringing back or humanising our services so that they can be tangible and felt.