The more you do for customers, the more they expect. That is the nature of customer service.
Excellent service providers scramble to meet the expectations of customers who have become accustomed to great service. Aggressive competitors continue to bump up their offerings in an attempt to take your customers from you. This has resulted in a perpetual desire by customers for more, better, different and/or improved.
In most cases, “good enough” isn’t enough.
The great art and science of business is to improve product and/or service offerings without giving up margins or increasing prices beyond what customers are willing to pay. It really is about adding value without spending too much to do it.
Any business that can’t do this will be relegated to competing at the low end of the market on price alone, and that is a difficult place to be.
Rally your team, from engineering and manufacturing to sales and support, to regularly brainstorm how you can profitably grow your value proposition. Customers will increasingly demand it.
Here are eight things you can do about them.
1. Find out what is important to customers: what they require and what they desire. You’re not clairvoyant, so routinely ask customers for input.
2. Explain your value proposition when you must say no. If you can't do something the customer wants, explain why. But see if there is something acceptable you can do instead.
3. Educate customers about the value you create for them. If they don’t know about it or appreciate it, it isn’t valuable.
4. Hold quarterly sessions with your team to brainstorm how to add value to the customer experience.
5. Evaluate the entire customer experience. Look for failure points and irritations that can be eliminated and improvements that can be made.
6. Pay more attention to your customers than to your competition. Know what your competitor is doing but put your customer at the center of your focus.
7. Pleasantly surprise customers whenever you can. Work with your team to brainstorm ideas on how to do that.
8. Treat better customers better. Treat all customers well, but those who spend more should get preferential treatment.
Business goes to the bold and innovative. Creativity and imagination are the best tools for continually rethinking your value proposition. Good execution delivers and makes customers glad they keep coming back to you for more.
Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is the president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an “idea studio” that seeks to motivate and develop leaders in and outside of business. He’s the best-selling author of books like Fred Factor and The Potential Principle and a noted expert on leadership, team building, customer service and company change. He holds the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame. Check out any of his excellent books, his video series “Team Building: How to Motivate and Manage People” or his website, marksanborn.com, to learn more.