The best way to improve customer loyalty is to serve your customers so well they come back and they tell others. This is what I call Remarkable Service. And it’s what many people forget when they try to find ways to keep their customers coming back.
There are three essential components of Remarkable Service. Done right, they can help a company improve customer loyalty quickly and with a lasting effect. But, you have to do all three and you have to do them well.
1. Plant Your Flag
Establish high-end service standards for your company and deploy them in every corner of the business. Everyone needs to live these standards from the CEO to the janitor – no exceptions. This is where you can get short term gains. Use this tactical phase to do the things you need to do to create the best experience for your customers. This is also how you help define your brand. Your customer service standards tell the world how you do business. They are your measuring stick. use them to build and defend your brand.
2. Know Your Business
In this phase you need to complete lists. List one is everything your customers want, in the context of your industry or market. This means talk to your customers and listen to what they say. Build a process of regular and open communication with your customers to learn what they think of your business. You want to find out what they want and how you are doing at delivering it. This tells you the gap you need to bridge.
List two is everything your company does well. These are your competitive advantages or strengths. These are based on every asset, resource and characteristic of your business. Find out what your company does better than anyone else is in your market. Ask your customers, your employees your vendors and even your competitors. Make an ongoing commitment to knowing what your company does best.
Then focus on where these two lists overlap. Your company needs to live there 100% of the time. All your time, energy and resources need to focus on doing what you do well and what your customers want.
3. Build a Remarkable Service Culture
The only way to achieve permanent change and long-term sustainability is by creating a culture that will support those changes. Great companies need great cultures and great cultures need to be created and nurtured. They don’t just happen.
A Remarkable Service culture is one that meets two criteria.
The first is that every employee makes a habit of putting others first. I call this a “serving culture”. It’s when people put the interests and welfare of others ahead of themselves. Not that they deny themselves what they need to survive and thrive. But their focus is on helping others first, not meeting their own needs.
The second component of a Remarkable Service culture is that every employee know they are personally responsible for their own success. They are constantly looking for ways to improve their performance and effectiveness and therefore benefit the company. When asked how they can improve, they look to themselves and their actions rather than expecting others to help them. They are innovative and they hold themselves accountable. I call this an “accountability culture”.