Most service professionals understand the value of superior customer service because most of us can recall an instance when we got less than stellar service as customers – and how this made us think twice about dealing with that “shoddy” business or company again. So, we all understand that poor service can, and usually does, chase away even your most loyal customers. It’s only a question of how fast!
Superior service on the other hand can attract customers to your service business in droves – and quickly turn them into some of your most loyal customers, the kind that will buy from you again and again, and recommend your services to friends and colleagues.
Like one marketing “guru” observed, if you can’t win on a superior price, offer, quality, guarantee, sales pitch, experience, talent, skill, credentials, or anything else, you can always win on superior service.
Now, all this may seem quite obvious on paper. The problem is that superior customer service is really a marketing strategy, just like classified ads, direct mail, or even digital marketing – and most service professionals hate marketing and self-promotion.
Superior service can be your biggest customer magnet
If you don’t think customer service is a marketing strategy, think of companies such as Disney and Apple. The people at Disney realized that sometimes their customers have to wait in a line to get on the attraction. So, what did they do? Disney created something called “linertainment” where they entertain you while you're waiting in line.
They serve you food. And it makes it feel like the wait isn't all that bad. You know, it's three hours in the hot sun, but, they got the dancing girls, they got people walking around with drinks.
They even installed restrooms in the lines. They have fans to cool you off. There’s entertainment, and all this is going on to make it feel like the wait is not so long.
If that isn’t superior customer service, what is it?
I’ll tell you another name for it… it’s called the “wow factor” and it’s something you can do in your professional services business – if, that is, you’re in the 5% of business owners that will see an interesting idea and go, “OMG, I need to try this in my business!” and then take action ASAP.
All it takes is one good idea
You see, a guy named Vance Morris who was a top executive in Disney decided to start his own business upon retiring from that company – so he started a carpet cleaning business, if you can believe it!
But, here’s where it gets even more interesting… he started applying the wow factor he copied from Disney in his carpet cleaning business, all his competitors quickly got to know what he was doing to steal most of the business for miles around from under their feet, but none of them copied his methods.
You are not like those carpet cleaners, so I’m confident you’ll borrow this idea and create a “blue ocean” strategy for your professional services business – and leave your competitors roiling in a shrinking, “muddied and bloodied” profit pool.
So, how do you apply this wow factor in your services business? As Vance Morris teaches it, what you do is you create experiences out of the mundane.
Growing your service-based business with superior service
In any business you can think of, we all have mundane things that we have to do day in and day out to keep the business up and running. But to our clients or customers, those mundane things could really be turned into an absolute experience. And that's the biggest way to separate yourself from any of your competitors.
You just have to open your mind up a little bit and create experiences out of the mundane things that you’ve got to do either in your sales process or in your delivery process to really help separate yourself/your business.
As an example, one of those mundane things that a carpet cleaner has to do is get into the home to perform the service, so Vance Morris and his team have created a complete theatrical production of getting into the customer’s home.
It’s a bit more involved than this, but to give you an idea, they park in the street (not in the driveway because God forbid if they got an oil leak and then they got to clean the spot in the driveway), the technician gets out and he's in a crisp, clean new uniform. He carries an extra uniform in the bag in case he gets sweaty or dirty. Besides the extra uniform he also carries his magic rug he uses on the job, his tool bag, and a little gift for the homeowner.
Another example, a dentist this time. What this dentist did is that he installed an oven and a small kitchen in his office. So, he bakes chocolate chip cookies every day and every patient leaves his offices with a little gift bag of cookies.
This small “gift” also works at a deeper psychological level because instead of his office smelling like a dental office, the place smells wonderful – and it’s so unique it gets people talking about it to friends and associates.
Yet another example, this time a financial planner. What this financial planner does is that when clients come in for an annual review, he surprises them with something very nice and very unexpected. So, while the client sits in the planner’s office looking out the big picture window, a mobile automobile detail service arrives and details the client’s car.
As you can imagine, his clients get so pleased about it that they end up talking about it for a week to everyone they meet. Besides this being a “wow factor” superior-service innovation, it drives lots of referrals his way.
Build superior service into your entire business
In conclusion, besides “Disnifying” as Vance Morris calls it (applying the wow factor to your mundane business processes/purchase experience), delivering superior service should be built into your entire business so that your customers/clients enjoy a great buying experience at all points where they interact with your business, be it reception, service delivery, post-purchase experience, customer support, etc.
As long as your customers are satisfied with your services and your customer service, they’ll be many times more likely to buy from you a second, third, fourth, fifth, or twenty-fifth time… and to give you referrals – something that can grow your business and your profits exponentially and very fast.
Chloe Evans (author) from Florida on September 23, 2021:
Thanks for the comment. Yeah, you're right, building a relationship with your customers on an individual level goes a long way!
JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on September 12, 2021:
Customer service is paramount to the success of any enterprise. More than just the product or service sold, it's how the customer feels that places the company to the top. Unfortunately not all businesses understand this concept. And I am not talking about after sales service or greeting your clients with a smile. Instead, a culturally relevant and individualized service is necessary. I've worked in this field for more than 30 years now and I still pitfalls in they way companies do their business. I just hope business do not use one-size-fits-all type of customer service.