When you look at leading companies in your industry, what do you see? Maybe they have more employees, or perhaps they’re working with a larger budget. If you’re just looking at the numbers, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The easy solution? Look beyond the numbers! Keeping up with the pack and remaining a part of the conversation starts with one key focus: your customers.
The Golden Rule
Your customers are at the heart of your business. In fact, it’s likely that they’re the reason you went into business in the first place. And even if you’re confident that your product or service provides value in your customers’ lives, standing out in the crowd isn’t easy.
Get back to the basics. Rather than focusing on what others are doing, focus on your business. Start with taking an inventory of certain areas of your operations:
- Look at your processes and procedures: Are operations running smoothly? Are products and services completed and delivered on time? Are they producing the results you promised?
- Look at your people: Are they empowered to deliver exceptional service to your customers? Are your team members excited about coming to work every day? Are they doing what they say they’ll do? Do they feel personally connected to your mission?
- Look at your products or services: Is there still a need for your products or services? Can you start taking steps to update, modernize, or improve the value you bring to your customers?
- Look at your progress: What steps are you taking to achieve the goals stated above? Document them! It’s easy to forget the results of a campaign or the decisions made in one meeting when you’ve got so many balls in the air.
All of these questions are aimed at ensuring that you’re providing your customers with an amazing experience that is unique to your company. That’s one of Ruby Receptionists’ specialties — creating meaningful connections with their customers and responding in thoughtful, personalized ways, like one receptionist did when putting together a package for a customer with a case of food poisoning.
These small touches don’t take much extra effort, but they go a long way toward making you stand out. The more opportunities you find to personalize your service and give your customers an exceptional level of care and attention, the more you’ll be at the forefront of their minds.
Walk the Walk
Now that you’ve asked the right questions, it’s time to put your findings into practice. Try these tips to shift your focus from your competition to what you can do to engage your customers.
Create a Culture of Exceptional Customer Service
Exceptional customer service doesn’t always have to take the form of a gift. For a customer who’s had a less-than-great experience elsewhere, it’s more important to deliver the right product or service at the right time. The biggest thing to remember? Keep your word. At Ruby, this is called, “do what you say you’ll do.” Consistency is key when building customer trust and following through on your promises is table stakes for providing exceptional service.
Make Genuine Customer Connections
The first step to making genuine connections is opening yourself up for communication. Make sure you’re accessible on all the channels your customers are using. Are you an online business? Make your contact us page easy to understand, create profiles on popular social and professional platforms, and make sure you respond promptly to messages. Brick and mortar? Consider setting your hours based on the times your customers are available and may be looking to come in. Take a genuine interest in your customers and don’t be afraid to chat with them about topics outside of the traditional customer relationship. Remembering that a customer is a fan of a particular sports team can go a long way when they make the make playoffs and you send a note of congratulations.
Tirelessly Search for Ways to Add Further Value to Your Customers’ Lives
Once you’ve opened these avenues for communication, use them to take the customer experience to that next level. Create outstanding content that they can’t find anywhere else. Teach them something new. Take them behind the scenes. Entertain and engage them. You’ll become a resource for the information they crave, and they’ll keep coming back to see what you have to say.
If there’s one thing that will set your business apart, it’s the way you treat the people who keep your business in business. Anyone can provide a product or service but your special brand of customer care is uniquely you. Give them something they can’t get anywhere else and they’ll keep coming back for more.
Gabe Arnold is the founder of Copywriter Today where you can get unlimited fresh content for all your marketing needs. If you want 250 free headline ideas for your next marketing campaign, use their free tool here.