I’m dedicating this blog to the honor of the late Muhammad Ali who built his brand on the title “The Greatest of All Time.” Ali was the boxing champion who believed and delivered on his promise. He was the epitome of “The Complete Leader!” He was the champ!
Likewise, one way to be a champion in business and achieve that “heavyweight title” is by providing customer service that knocks your customers off their feet. As a business leader, when you build brand loyalty, customer service must be an integral part of your brand strategy. The goal is simple: ensure that the customer is satisfied before, during and after the purchase of your product or service.
Here is the reality: the way that you respond to your customers can be the key to a positive or negative customer relationship. The key word here is service. We are in a service economy, and in the long run, that service can make or break your brand.
Remarkable Business Leaders Can Not Succeed Without Loyal Customers
Unfortunately, we have gotten to the place where substandard customer service is becoming the norm. Whether they are called customers, clients, subscribers, readers or fans the goal in serving them is to add a unique promise of value that connects them to you. On this journey, I’m learning that the complete leader in business cannot succeed without loyal customers.
So, rise up and lead well! Gain a competitive advantage by providing remarkable customer service that produces satisfied customers. In your business, great customer service is another way to stand out and set your brand apart from the crowd. Treat people well and support them through extraordinary service that adds value to their lives, and provides satisfaction and loyalty that differentiates your brand from the rest.
“Great service it’s about attitude. And a service attitude needs to move it’s a quality-of-life, not only in the commercial.” -Leonard Berry
Customer service must come from the heart and produce an attitude where the customer is right and is the priority.
Here are some examples of companies that are champions when it comes to building their brand on providing over-the-top customer service:
- Nordstrom- The Seattle-based retailer prides themselves on putting the ‘right people on the bus.’ Their employees aren’t given a typical handbook with standard policies, but instead a 12-page code of conduct that empowers and encourages them to use their best judgment in helping customers. They also have a liberal return policy that allows customers to bring back merchandise at any time. Lastly, they don’t spend extra time and money boasting about how great they are. They let their customers do it for them.
- Zappos– This online retailer known mostly for their shoes, is so serious about their customer service that every new employee must spend their first four weeks on the job in the company call center – even the executives. According to Capgemini Consulting, more than 75% of the company’s business comes from repeat customers. Pretty impressive!
- Amazon-This online retail giant successfully lives up to it’s happy logo by offering massive product selections, and service and experiences that put a smile on your face. In a fast-paced world, they work to keep it simple and clearly laid out. Returns are hassle free with a shipping label automatically provided with each purchase. What’s more, they also offer membership programs such as Amazon Prime that provide FREE shipping. And in the words of one of my entrepreneurial sales mentors, Jim Joyce, “Free is always good!
- Warby Parker- The online eyeglass retailer offers a 30-day, no-questions-asked return policy for every pair of glasses they sell. Buying glasses online is a relatively new concept, and can be a little intimidating. But the company makes it simple for customers with live support to answer questions and help people find the right style and fit.
“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” -Tom Peters
As the CEO of your business, if you are just starting out, you have the benefit of understanding the value of exceptional customer service, and this means you can infuse it into your brand’s DNA from the beginning. Or perhaps you are a few years into your business and need to refine your customer service. It’s not too late. Remember, the goal is name recognition. Deliver the kind of value – through exceptional customer service – that when someone thinks of you, your remarkable service comes to mind. Treating your customers well: this is how to build a brand worthy of the heavyweight title – like a champ!
What can YOU do to uplevel your customer service this week? I love hearing what you are doing! Tell me about it in the comments below.