I don’t know about you, but almost everywhere I look these days the quality of service (aka customer service) seems to be declining. (Perhaps plummeting is a better word.) This is especially true in the mega corporations.
For many major corporations, the quest for increased revenue and record profits forces corporations to look for ways to cut corners. Too many times they determine customer service – or service in general – is an easy place to cut.
There are, of course, a few exceptions. L.L.Bean provides exceptional customer service. So does Amazon, Chick-fil-A, Southwest Airlines, Marriott, and Zappos. But they are far and few between.
I believe this not only opens the door to a huge advantage for smaller businesses, it rolls out a red carpet.
The reason is smaller businesses are typically closer to their customers or clients. There’s more direct contact and communication. Or, at least there should be.
Smaller businesses can use this proximity to create a culture of exceptional service. In my book, How to Close More Business in Less Time, I refer to this not only as service or customer service, but as creating an “exceptional experience” from beginning to end.
To quote myself (page 132), “I believe that when every transaction, every interaction, every box of merchandise that arrives, every phone call, every online order activity, every question asked and answered, is an exceptional 5-star experience from the point of view of your prospect or client, you have energized your ideal sales process beyond your wildest dreams.”
I believe this is easy for smaller businesses, especially when a major component of that exceptional service and experience has to do with communication. It’s not just about responding when they call, but being extremely proactive with your communication – calling them before they call you. Reaching out to them before they contact you. Letting them know, in advance, when there’s an issue, when everything is running on schedule, and when you plan to deliver earlier than planned.
Above all, it’s about listening and learning and letting them know you are always there for them and will never let them down.