Defining Remarkable Customer Service
For the October mixer, SEBA members had the opportunity to network with fellow members at the Derrick Golf and Country Club, but also the opportunity to improve their customer service.
During uncertain economic times, it is a common notion that sales and marketing budgets are slashed. There are some smart companies that have kept their sales and marketing budgets constant knowing that this is an opportunity to take away market share from competitors. How is this being done? They are looking at their level of customer service and improving it.
For a number of years now, the November Mixer was the Mike Mack of X5 Management event. Mike led a group of local entrepreneurs through an interactive one hour conversation where Mike challenged the group on how well they actually know their level of customer service.
Firstly, Mike asked the group what is remarkable service? To paraphrase the group:
Next, the group was asked to take a step back and look at their own customer service. Don’t look at it from a manager’s point of view, but from the viewpoint of your customer. Every person in the organization has an impact on customer service in their firm, no matter its size.
Next, we looked at defining the moments of truth for our companies.
As we progressed, we looked at the lifetime costs of a customer. Mike provided a process on how each company can make this calculation.
The conversation evolved to what customers are looking for in customer service. In general, they can be broken down into 6 categories: reliability, responsiveness, speed, competence, value, and friendliness. A tool was shared to help rank our companies along with possibilities to improve each area.
In the end, customer service boils down to creating, delivering, and demonstrating value to your customer.
At the conclusion of the group conversation, our mixer continued where participants were bouncing ideas off each other on how they can improve their own customer service. A number of participants, including myself, mentioned that they now have ‘homework’, with the final intent of serving their customers better.
Along with making and strengthening relationships during the mixer, customer service was improving for SEBA members.
I hope to see you at the next SEBA mixer in November.
Kevin MacDonald is the Social Media Chair for the South Edmonton Business Association (SEBA). Kevin works for himself as a Business Consultant at L6S Business Consulting Inc (www.L6SBC.ca). L6S offers services in management consulting, Controller and CFO contracting, and lean management with either project work or teaching/mentoring of staff. Kevin has his CMA accounting designation along with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.
Kevin is active in the community by volunteering for different groups and donates platelets at the Canadian Blood Services clinic on a bi-weekly basis.