Posted on Jul 12, 2011
The Future of the Business Success Model
I am going to make a prediction: The next "big thing" in business success trends is going to focus on extreme customer service. Let me tell you why this is what will be filling your newspapers, magazines, and web feeds in the coming months.
1. Let's face it: Customer service, for the most part, sucks. Companies know that delivering great customer service is important, and employees know that they are lucky to have a job and should treat the customer great if they want to keep that job. Still, every survey clearly shows that people believe the level of customer service delivered by the majority of businesses today is absolutely dismal. And it makes consumers really mad to give their hard-earned money to a business that does not seem to appreciate it!
2. Unless business opportunities are 100% focused on being their industry's low-cost leader, most of the major business differentiators are gone.
- Delivering great product quality is a given – you have to do it just to be in business today.
- Customers are more educated than ever. They can compare your price, terms, guarantees and all of the elements of your product, all without ever leaving the comfort of their homes.
- Location, location, location? Not really, thanks to the internet. And even if you do have a business where location plays an important role, your competitor can build a store right across the street from you.
- It used to be: speed, quality, price -- pick two and go compete in the marketplace. However, not anymore with today's consumers wanting the highest possible quality at the lowest possible price right now (or faster), all delivered with a main focus on great customer service. In other words they demand a high-quality total purchasing and owning experience.
3. Every article I have read recently seems to indicate that we are years away from seeing the end of this recession. If that is the truth, and unfortunately I believe it is, then people will continue to struggle financially and be exceedingly selective in how they spend their income. Given the choice, if quality, price, location, and distribution are all just about equal, I can assure you that consumers are going to decide to do business ONLY with the companies that deliver consistently superior customer service and make them feel super-good about doing business with them.
For these three major reasons, I am convinced that a major focus of business in the next few years has got to be on differentiating your product and company through extreme customer focus and delivering a truly fantastic customer service experience – as defined by the customer!
John Spence is the author of “Awesomely Simple – Essential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas into Action.” He is an award-wining professional speaker and corporate trainer, and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America.
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