Service Please! 6 Ways to Deliver Exemplary Customer Service to Market to the Affluent By Kelly K. O’Neil Exemplary customer service is, quite simply, an experience with your business that makes a customer say, “Wow!” When you can consistently deliver product, service and value in a way that exceeds customer expectation, you are delivering exemplary customer service. I can tell you first hand that the affluent customer not only expects, but demands exemplary customer service and we are willing to pay higher premiums for that service.
Let’s be honest – every business has competition in the market. There are several ways to win the larger portion of the market: You can deliver a better product or service You can deliver an equivalent product or service at a lower price You can deliver an equivalent product or service at an equivalent price in a way that earns customer loyalty If you ask CEOs of large corporations about consistently delivering exemplary customer service, they will probably tell you it is the most difficult thing they do, or try to do. You must remember, however, that these are large corporations with hundreds or thousands of people who have faceto-face contact with customers. Getting everyone who has contact with a customer on board is a major project for a big company. They might even have to change corporate culture to make it happen. The good news is that small businesses and entrepreneurs CAN deliver exemplary customer service with ease. You can deliver an experience that makes your customer say, “Wow!” And you can do it consistently. What does it take to deliver exemplary customer satisfaction and service? Here are six key ways to deliver exemplary customer service to your affluent market: An understanding of the value of a customer as a lifetime relationship (and not as a single sale) The desire to make a customer happy Listening to the wants and needs of your customers
Developing new products and services in direct response to the needs and wants of your customers Ensuring that your staff knows what to do if a customer is unhappy Consistently responding to the needs and wants of your customers to provide the experience that makes each customer say, “Wow.”
When you get right down to it, providing exemplary customer service is a matter of knowing your customers, caring about your customers, and showing your customers they are valued. There are hundreds of things you can do to demonstrate to your customers that you care about them and value them. Most of these things are fairly easy. But as your business grows, you might need to create a strategy and a system for identifying opportunities to be in touch with each customer in meaningful ways. Something as simple as sending a birthday card to a customer, or forwarding an article you read that might be helpful to a particular customer, or a quick phone call to touch base, might be all you need to do. You can move up the levels of complexity from there. For example, you can track sales to your customers (which you probably do anyway) and follow up on each purchase with a note of thanks and a request for their feedback. Nothing tells a customer you value him/her more than asking for their insights and opinions on products and services. Saying thank you is one of the easiest things we can do; and there are a thousand ways to say it.
© Kelly O’Neil 2009 Kelly K. O'Neil, Chief Strategy Officer, UpLevel Strategies, Inc. Award Winning Strategic Coach and Marketing to the Affluent Expert Kelly O’Neil publishes the ‘Arrive!’ weekly ezine for small service businesses and information marketers. If you are ready to learn the best strategies to market to the affluent so that you can make more money and have more freedom and fun in your small business, get your FREE tips now at www.uplevelstrategies.com. NOTE: You're welcome to "reprint" this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the "about the author" info at the end), and you send a copy of your reprint to email@example.com.