"It is impossible for ideas to
compete in the marketplace if no forum for
their presentation is provided or available."
Thomas Mann, 1896
The Business Forum
Service In Today’s World
The importance of customer service
is magnified in today’s world. This is true whether your customers are
internal or external.
Peter Drucker said, "The world is
changing at a rapid pace and only those who understand what those changes
mean will be poised to prosper under the new rules."
Social media and the internet have
greatly improved our ability to explore, learn and develop opinion.
Customers have no need to rely on providers for information. They now are in
control and often have investigated long before they contact you.
Let us look at one of the most basic
areas we control; how we view and relate to customers. We all know stories
of weak customer service in retail, telephone service, and corporate sales. When the economy was booming, we could ignore weak service in our own
company. Yet there has always been a direct relationship between service and
Customers do not care about us they only care about themselves. Often we look
at customers as revenue sources. More strategically I suggest thinking of
customers as assets. In many instances we do not have much control. One asset
you have complete control over is your relationship with your customers.
When we strategize we customarily think of what we are good at. That is the
Competitive advantage is developed when we identify what customers want and
make these needs core competences in our business.
With this mindset we build an
emotional connection. Emotionally engaged customers deliver far superior
financial returns than disengaged customers. Gallup research over the last
10 years finds fully engaged customers deliver a 23% premium in terms of
profitability and revenue. Disengaged customers deliver a 13% discount.
We often equate giving good service
with creating customer satisfaction. Excellence in customer service is about
creating customer loyalty. Knowing the difference between satisfaction and
loyalty is the first step in developing customer-focused excellence in your
Building loyalty is about giving
memorable service. Do we want customers’ memories to be positive or
negative? When the company does not give customers the help they expect, the
need still exists but the customer is now dissatisfied. A satisfied customer
may still shop the competition. A loyal customer says “I am happy with my
The value of a customer you have
properly nurtured and developed is a major key to strong competitive
advantage. Outstanding leaders build memorable service and loyal customers.
On a personal note:
If this article has made you think about building more effective results, I
would be happy to meet with you to discuss the state of your business.
Before we start I will ask you to complete three assessments that evaluate
your company strategically, in leadership and personal productivity. This is
your commitment to a focused high quality interchange.
There is no obligation. We will meet as long as
necessary to have an in depth review. My objective is to first build a
relationship. If we agree to continue working together, great, if not then
my hope is that our discussion will still lead you to constructive change.
949-689-4085 Pacific Time
Thomas R. Northup
is a Fellow of The Business Forum Institute and a coach,
speaker and author with over 30 years running companies the
last 3 as CEO. He now assists managers and executives
produce the stretch results they are having trouble
reaching. Tom’s work can be explored in his leadership blog,
his book, The Five Hidden Mistakes CEOs Make, and his coming
book, Leadership Is Not a Soft Skill. Using his unique
experience, Tom gives expert insight and simple to use
methods you can use to build a focused, outstanding
organization to meet your vision, create sustainable growth
and to develop “unfair competitive advantage.” Tom graduated
with a BS in Mathematics from Bucknell University and has an
MBA from Syracuse University.
Visit the Authors Web Site
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