The Secret Sauce

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secret-sauceCustomer-centered leadership is the cornerstone of success. Here are five value creation strategies, the secret sauce of great service that will keep your customers coming back for life.

Strategy 1: Adopt the Everything Counts Customer Service Maxim

Everything Counts is a maxim that sends a powerful message. It means that you see every customer interaction as an opportunity to retain a valued customer, increase your value proposition, build loyalty, or strengthen a brand.

It means that everything in your business counts from the friendly hello to the appreciative thank you as well as every little paper clip and detail in between.

Strategy 2: Take Care of Your Staff … So They Will Take Care of Your Customers.

Without the right staff and proper training to deliver great service, other plans and programs won’t amount to a hill of beans.

That’s why effective customer-focused leaders focus on employees first. Take care of your staff, and they’ll take care of your customers.

Leadership must put staff first, and staff, in turn, will put the customer first.

Strategy 3: Keep Your Promises

If you make a promise to a customer, keep it. The absence of this discipline is a stain on your company’s reputation that is virtually impossible to remove.

Take your promises and customer commitments seriously, because your customers do. Nothing annoys customers and fuels their lack of loyalty more than being lied to.

Strategy 4: Deliver Quality and Excellence

A commitment to quality and excellence breeds client loyalty. These things don’t happen accidentally; they are the result of careful planning and exceptional execution.

Quality and excellence create confidence and enhance your customers peace of mind; they function as an insurance policy against mediocrity and an assurance of profitability.

Strategy 5: Focus on the Customer Experience

Making people feel good about themselves and your company makes a more conducive environment for them to spend their money. Customer centered companies provide more than just a quality product, they provide a rich experience, too.

Apple ComputerApple uses an acronym of the company’s name to lay out the Steps of Service for their customer-centered program:

  • Approach customers with a personalized warm welcome
  • Probe politely to understand all the customers needs
  • Present a solution for the customer to take home today
  • Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns
  • End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.

Apple’s entire customer experience, their service, quality, product design, and their brand attributes connects on an emotional level, keeping their customers satisfied and feeling well served and loyal. That loyalty can and will result in the capture of substantial lifetime revenue.

The companies that put customers first win much more than loyalty; they win advocates. As passionate advocates, customers jump on the bandwagon and freely recommend your company to friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

They purchase your products and services as gifts, and they provide unsolicited praise or suggestions of improvement because they believe in you!

What to Do Now? Share your two cents worth on customer service and having a customer-centered culture.

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