Dominate your market
A successful business will use its well-communicated vision of the future, having the best people, courageous communication and transparency, a culture of urgency and disciplined execution - and focus all of it intensely on listening to your customers. . Do this and you'll dominate your market.
John Spence, author of Awesomely Simple, trusted advisor and strategist, said it best, "the only sustainable competitive differentiator left to most businesses today is creating a culture of continuous innovation and extreme customer focus driven by highly talented people."
Competitors can copy your product offerings, they can copy your processes and systems, they can buy or reverse-engineered your technology and they can gain access to similar distribution channels. They can meet or beat you on about every front, except for building a team of talented people who strive every day for continuous incremental improvements across the organization and deliver consistently super customer service - as defined by the customer.
One of the main reasons I enjoyed this book was it spoke with an entrepreneurial spirit, had essential business strategies and at the end of each chapter is a section of turning ideas into action. Cool!
So from John's book is this short list for creating a culture of extreme customer focus. As you move through this list of action items, consider how your CRM system and customer focused business processes can be re-engineered or improved.
1. Create a customer service vision.
Much like create a vision statement to direct the organization, also create a clear and compelling customer service vision that describes the level of service your organization aspires to deliver.
2. Infuse your entire organization with the voice of the customer.
Create strong, trusting relationships with your customers. Solicit feedback, communicate that feedback throughout the entire organization, and then be sure to take action on the feedback your customers have given you. Your CRM system was put into place to share the one version of the truth about your customers and their dealing with your organization.
3. Become an expert on delivering superior customer service.
Find out everything you can about how to deliver great customer service. Steal the best ideas, benchmark against the top performers, share that information across the organization, and make learning about and working on improving customer service a core competency of your company.
4. Turn every employee into a customer service champion.
Make serving the customer (both external and internal customers) the number one job of every employee in your organization. Help them with tools, training, equipment and support they must have to deliver excellent customer service consistently. Reward and praise those who deliver above and beyond the call of duty, and deal quickly and effectively with any employee who does not embrace the service values.
Customer service reps (CSR's) love to have helpful information in their CRM system and a big part of that is employee adoption and engagement by the sales force.
5. Destroy any barrier that stands in the way of delivering superior service to the customer.
Look at all systems, policies, procedures, reports and rules. Wipe out anything that creates roadblocks or frustrations in the effort to delight and amaze the customer. Stupid rules that make it hard for employees to serve superbly can kill the business.
6. Measure, measure, measure and communicate.
Create a clear, specific and extremely well-thought-out and over communicated program for systematically collecting and quickly communicating the most important customer service delivery measurements to the people who can then act on them. Make it easy for your people to win.
7. Walk the talk.
Every level of the organization, starting at the very top, must be a living example of your service strategy. If the senior managers in your organization do not deliver excellent service to their internal customers by promptly returning phone calls, showing up on time for meetings, being well prepared and acting professionally, there is absolutely no hope that your frontline people will deliver great service. All employees must demonstrate an obsession inside and outside the company.
Double Your Profit:
Creating a culture of engaged employees who consistently deliver superior customer service can drive as much as an 85 to 104 percent increase in profitability. In other words, delivering great customer service can literally double your profit.
Review how each of these action steps can be applied to your business. Take one or two and start a plan today for their implementation. Review your CRM system to make sure the sharing of knowledge of the customer does exist throughout the organization. Are you capturing their interest in your marketing content, newsletters and emails? Are you performing a customer satisfaction survey and sharing the results within the organization? Provide better tools. Implement mobile CRM to greatly increase employee engagement and the capturing those light bulb insights and all important conversations.
Visit www.awesomelysimple.com web site and review the helpful resources.
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