The only thing that will make you remarkable is being worth remarking about.
Seth Godin in his blog, May 23, 2010
Most businesses set the performance bar too low. They aim for satisfied customers: customers who have no complaints about the products or services they’ve purchased. They strive for consistent and satisfactory, but unremarkable service. Employees who deviate from the script or from their assigned duties to do something extra for customers are not rewarded and are even disciplined sometimes.
Businesses like this succeed by either advertising heavily or by offering the lowest prices or both. Customers of these businesses, even the satisfied ones, will switch to a competitor for a fractionally lower price or for a slightly better ad. There are few really loyal customers of these businesses.
Typically a business like this is organized to emphasize marketing. No one in the enterprise has overall charge of improving the customer experience. If business slows down, the reaction is to advertise more or cut prices more or both. I thinking of automobile dealerships as I write this, but there are many other examples in the business community.
It astounds me that most small businesses try to emulate the larger ones. Even if they only have a few employees, they try to compete on the basis of only “satisfactory service,” advertising, and low prices. Although it would be easy for these businesses to establish a “customer experience” function, they rarely do. Since they don’t have the deep pockets to spend a lot for advertising and they don’t have the strong influence over suppliers to compete on the basis of price, they set themselves up for a hard time.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Dell Computer, Zappos.com, Amazon.com and many other highly successful companies are growing based on a focus on improving the customer experience and creating loyal customers. They do this by engaging with customers and by providing remarkable service. Dell established an IdeaStorm.com website to ask for improvements and ideas from its customers and has improved its products and services to respond to those inputs. Zappos.com and Amazon.com have grown dramatically with essentially no advertising by providing exceptional customer service. These businesses continuously measure and strive to improve customer loyalty.
There’s no reason why your business can’t follow the “customer loyalty” path. Assign a senior manager to improve the customer experience. Consistently measure customer loyalty through surveys. Take action to address what you learn from the surveys and other feedback. Reward employees who provide remarkable service. Respond to customers who take the time to give you feedback and referrals.
If you take these steps, your business will foster great word of mouth, boost customer loyalty, and retain more clients. Your advertising costs will drop because you’ll get more referrals. Contact Rust Reviews to get started.