When working with companies that are focused on getting new customers, I always ask them who their biggest competitor is. As expected, I typically hear the names of their competition in their industry. They are shocked when I tell them they are only partially right.
The competition is the company that gave customers their last positive memorable customer experience, regardless of industry. That’s who businesses are being compared to in the mind of the customer.
So it doesn’t matter if you are an office equipment dealer, restaurant, or medical office. Your customer is comparing the service you deliver to the experience that perhaps their dry cleaner gives them. Their dry cleaner knows their name, smiles, engages in conversation, asks them how their business and family are, and makes doing business with them simple and quick. A simple exchange, but one that is focused on engagement, is what customers are craving.
In understanding this premise, focus your attention on every aspect of the customer experience. Ways to do this…
- Build a customer touch point map
- Define the ultimate customer experience to perfection at each touchpoint
- Train staff to deliver that ideal ultimate experience
- Ask customers for feedback on ways to improve
- Rinse and repeat
It’s good to have competition. It gives you a measurement to gauge your service delivery by. It’s not okay to let your competition surpass you simply because you didn’t try.
Next week is Customer Service Week. This is a great time to examine what you can do to create that positive lasting impression in the mind of your customers.