Get as close as you can to your customers

This sounds like an obvious point but service excellence demands that you first know your customers’ needs and expectations better than anyone else.

Yes, some common needs are obvious, but needs by segment are less so. Even harder to discern are individual needs, but if you are serious about excellence then at the very least your regular or repeat customers will expect you to remember their likes and dislikes.

Practical things you can do here include: Define your key customer segments and attribute an overall value to each in terms of what they generate for the business. Which segments deserve most attention?

Hold regular focus groups with customers from these segments to better understand their needs. Conduct wider online/email surveys with larger number of customers to get a broader view of needs. Have effective feedback mechanisms, for capturing complaints, and for gathering general satisfaction data; analyse this information regularly in a meaningful way to identify areas for improvement.

Have systems for capturing and sharing the preferences of existing customers so that you can wow them with your tailored service. It is only by taking proactive action that you can get closer to your customers and if you don’t do so then striving for service excellence is impossible.

Okay let’s conclude this article with
John Russell, post: “The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.”