How to Turn Customer Service Into a Compelling Competitive Advantage
Half or one-day workshop – in-company
“Customer service is one of the last frontiers of sustainable competitive advantage.”
It’s one of the strongest ways to grow your profits. Yet many companies still treat it like a cost function. This interactive workshop guides managers, executives and stakeholders through a series of discussions, tools and case-studies.
The objective is to leave the event with a practical action plan of ideas to research further or implement.
Business leaders often give too little attention to its value, while doing everything they can to cut costs, rather than investing in customer service as an opportunity for growth and productivity.
Some managers may try to build-in and create good service, as if they were writing a program for a computer. They may proclaim simplistic mantras such as “the customer is always right,” or “customer first”, “ we listen to our customers…” and so on. Worse, they invest in creating detailed processes and procedures for their employees to follow. This can work if your goal is to meet customer expectations. But excellent customer service can’t be reduced to a stack of three-ring binders and call centre scripts. It requires creating a company that is designed with the customer at the centre of everything it does, and does not do.
Why this event is important – why customer-centricity matters
TARP, a behaviour-based research company, found that customers who have a negative experience tell an average of 12 people, and that those people tell an average of 72 more. That’s 85 people who get taught not to use a company, all from a single incident. And in our wired world, this pattern is only becoming more pronounced. Without a compelling customer service experience that differentiates your organisation, adds value and creates loyalty, price and promotional techniques become the dominant marketing tools. If you are already trying to combat negative comments on social media, you have to act now.Topic areas
Topic areas – How to Turn Customer Service Into a Compelling Competitive Advantage
So how can you create exceptional customer service? How can you turn genuine care into a true competitive advantage? There are a few essential steps that are discussed and reviewed during this event…
1.Start at the top – senior executives and business owners have to start and maintain the process and standards they want everyone to live by.
2.Define and own a compelling service model – that is a service model and experience that is differentiated, valued (and adds value) and can be delivered consistently.
3.Hire people that have good people skills – redefine your recruitment and selection process.
4.Create a culture that has customer experience at it’s core – particularly around reward, recognition and reinforcement.
5.Hard-wire the soft-soft – define a model of customer experience as a process-based cognitive model.
6.Measure and metrics – chose the right KPI’s and feedback loops to really measure your success and learn from customer experience and competitive advantage. This must include comparative benchmarks and mystery shopper programs.
7.Focus on retention, repeat-spend and loyalty – make this a priority not just ‘new business sales’. Consider timeless service qualities not just promotional or loyalty gimmicks.
8.Action plan – for further study or implementation.
Comments or questions are welcome.
Copyright Graham Roberts-Phelps 2016