Considering the current realities of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the overall impact on the economy, it’s critical that every business elevates their service levels and wows all customers that come in contact with their business. It’s always been important to deliver world-class service to customers…but it’s more important than ever in 2022 and beyond.
After all, if you aren’t delivering this kind of service, your competition will!
So, that leads us to this question:
Why Don’t More Businesses Deliver World-Class Service to Customers?
Worse yet, they are failing at delivering even average service.
Is it simply that they don’t pay enough attention to improving their service or building stronger relationships with their customers? Are they just too busy in the day-to-day operations of a business that they aren’t spending enough time working ‘on’ the business to improve customer service? Perhaps they don’t invest enough time and resources in training their people. Or they may not know how to properly train someone in customer service.
Businesses must understand what it takes to retain customers.
The ones that do this well have great leaders who see the importance of making their people better. If you want to retain more customers and acquire new customers through your sales process, delivering world-class service is a significant catalyst to help you get there.
I have definitely observed and even received some really bad and downright pathetic customer service since the spring of 2020. With the scarcity of customer traffic for many businesses since the onset of COVID-19, you would think that everyone would be rocking their customer service delivery to gain and retain every customer possible.
Sadly, this has not always been my observation or experience.
I have encountered several examples as a customer where I contacted a business for products or service, agreed to a price and committed to moving forward. Yet, no one returned my emails, phone calls, or even texts!
(Learn all about the importance of great first impressions in customer service in this post)
Mind-boggling, I know, considering I was willing to pay them, yet they were somehow too busy to get back to me. Busy doing what? Looking for new customers?
I was right there agreeing to be a customer, but they didn’t see me waiting and hoping for any sign of world-class service.
Heck, I would have been willing for entry-level customer service at that point, but NO service? Extremely disappointing and quite surprising!
You cannot retain what you do not first gain
These businesses lost me as a customer before they even gained me as one. They failed to see the value of my business, both immediate and long-term, which brings me to my next point.
Do you know the potential Lifetime Value of your Customers?
(i.e. revenue/transactions; transactions/year; revenue/year; # of years that customer will be ‘your’ customer; customer lifetime value; likelihood of “great” and world-class service keeping your customer).
Here’s an example: I am a customer at a dry cleaner. Let’s look at the lifetime value of my business to that store as a customer.
Let’s say I spend $30 in a given week on dry cleaning. If I do that 50 weeks a year at $30/week x 50 weeks = $1,500 per year that I pay for my services. In one year, you get a pretty quick number of what I’m worth to that business as a customer. Now, what if I’m a customer for five years? What if I’m a customer for another 10 years, 10 x $1,500 = $15,000.
The lifetime value of one average customer like me, Mike Mack, is valuable!
Every employee in every business must understand the lifetime value of all of their customers.
Not just the big customers, but the average/typical customers.
(This is one reason customer retention is critical to your business’ success. Read more about what makes it so important in this post)
Are you prepared to make your customer’s problem YOUR problem?
One of my favourite stories that I shared in my book, REMARKABLE SERVICE – ‘How to Keep Your Doors Open’ occurred more than 25 years ago, and I still tell it because it was that Remarkable.
In a previous career, I spent three years working in Prince George, British Columbia.
One of my favourite restaurants there was called DaMarinos, a delightful little Italian restaurant with amazing food and remarkable service. Their spaghetti carbonara was amazing! One afternoon I took a few hungry colleagues with me who were in town from Vancouver, and we arrived just at the beginning of the lunch-hour rush.
As I entered the restaurant, my favourite waiter Vince promptly greeted me at the door. “Good day, Mr. Mack. How are you today?” I told him I was great. He responded, “Do you have reservations?” I sheepishly nodded, “No, sorry, we didn’t know our lunch schedule and plans today.”
He replied, “No worries, Mr. Mack, that becomes my problem.”
Even to this day, that line is still etched in my mind. And it was, and continues to be, one of the most remarkable statements that I have ever heard from a customer service perspective! I was totally delighted. And that world-class service was so memorable that I continue to tell this story all the time.
If you aren’t willing to make your customer’s problem your problem, then who will? Your competition?
When was the last time you made your customer’s problem your problem?
(Visit this post next to read five customer service habits that help you deliver world-class service every time)
Do the Little Things Make a Difference When it Comes to Delivering World-Class Service to Customers?
The little things may be habits, behaviours, or small ideas with attention to detail that are routine in your business. They are things your employees just do at the right time, and they seem to get joy in doing so.
Maybe you are offered a coffee or water. Or any employee you see acknowledges you and says good morning, even if they aren’t the person meeting with you. Perhaps you receive a small thank you email that comes to you after a meeting with a business. Or your car is washed and shined up at the dealership without you asking… and the list goes on and on. No BIG deal, right?
But the little things do make you feel great!
As I have observed over the years, businesses that provide world-class service tend to have happier and more satisfied customers who tell others about their service. Ultimately, that creates stronger loyalty, enhancing the ability to ask for more referrals or recommendations.
As a general rule, their businesses also run more smoothly. Their teams are more engaged and helpful, retain great people, and weed out the poor performers.
They likely have better sales/revenue than a business without remarkable service, and the customers tend to be less price-sensitive when they get remarkable service. The team working at a business with remarkable service likely has some extra passion for making it all about the customer, and they love what they do.
Customers tend to remark about the little things. And there is also usually a consistent theme, and consistency can win the day when it comes to creating world-class service.
Take the time now, with your entire team, to think about your business and how the little things can make a difference for your valued customers. How can you elevate your service to a level where customers may find it remarkable?
Five little things you do well:
Five little things you need to improve upon:
Want to learn more about World-Class Service?
To celebrate the anniversary of the publishing of my Amazon bestselling book, REMARKABLE SERVICE – ‘How to Keep Your Doors Open’, I am offering a FREE copy of my eBook. Now more than ever, businesses need all the support they can to “keep their doors open.” CLICK HERE to access your FREE copy, and when you download the book, please feel free to share it with all of your employees.
Best wishes to you and your business and your efforts to create Remarkable Service for your customers!
Did you learn a lot about how to deliver world-class service in this post? Here are three more posts to read next:
- Tips for Building Positive Customer Relationships…That Last!
- Customer Service: Do the Little Things Make a Difference?
- Regardless of Your Business or Industry, You Can Create Remarkable Service
This post was first published in 2020, but it has been updated for comprehensiveness.