Creating a Culture of Customer Service Excellence- By Lane Kramer

If you are a Christian business leader, have you given any thought recently to the level of customer service that your Company truly offers to your Customers?  Have you asked yourself, would you do business with your Company?

Let me present you with some surprising statistics.  91% of dissatisfied customers never buy from companies in the future.  It will cost your Company 5x more effort and money to attract a new customer than it does to retain and sell to an existing customer.  Finally, the level of your own customer’s satisfaction is directly proportional to your own employee’s satisfaction.  With those factoids in mind, when is the last time you surveyed your customers to find out their level of satisfaction with your Company?

Here are some GREAT questions to ask your Customers:  1) What is your number one expectation of your firm in doing business with us? 2) What are the top three reasons that your Company does business with our firm? 3) How likely are you to refer us to another company based on your customer experience with us?

If you ask these questions on a continuing basis, you are likely to detect any customer dissatisfaction while it is in a manageable stage.  However, once a customer decides to leave, it is VERY difficult to convince them to keep doing business with your company.

Another really enlightening exercise to perform is to list your top ten customers and how much revenue and profit do they generate.  Besides each customer name, score them as In Danger of Leaving,  There is a risk they may leave, and Everything is Okay with the relationship. Obviously some customer service triage will need to be applied to those categories in the first rating category.

Now I will make a really surprising statement to you: Customer perception of your service delivery will almost never be differentiated by WHAT you do. In most industries, the competitors offer roughly the same kinds of services.  Quality service is more about HOW you do what you do. If your Company really has a culture of service excellence, you will have created a truly differentiated experience in the minds and hearts of your customers.

At the core of great customer service there are two main dimensions. PROCEDURES  ( what systems and processes do you have to deliver your products and services. )The second dimension is PERSONAL  tThis is HOW do your service delivery people interact with the Customers?  Companies that offer truly fabulous customer service have BOTH a high level of well defined procedures and have a high level of personal attention.  In other words, “We both Care AND we Deliver!”

If you take away just one point from this article it is this !  Your intent in serving your customers is always visible. If you have a sincere heart to SERVE your customers and help them be successful, they will see that in you and your team members and this will draw them to do business with you and your company.  Mark 10:43 says this ” but whoever wishes (INTENT) to become great among you shall be your servant.”  So if you want to have a culture of great customer service, then hire a team of people with servants hearts!

Earlier in this article I commented that your customers will only experience great customer service to the extent that your employees are highly satisfied. So don’t look over the heads of your employees in order to focus exclusively on your customers. FIRST you have to care for your employees and meet their needs. They have to feel that you are FOR their success! Then you have to give them the tools in order to allow them to serve your customers extraordinarily well.

Here is one final insight to share with you that may surprise you. Every decision we make is emotionally made but logically supported. Just think back to the last three significant purchasing decisions you made. Did you make the decision first on logic or did were the primary reasons more emotional in nature. If you accept that fact, then quality service is viewed by your customers based 1st on emotional perception then supported by their logical rationale.

So is your customer service delivery system set up to make your customers have both trust and confidence in your Company?  Then once you have won their trust and confidence then focus on providing great value and minimizing the risk of doing business with your firm ( not following through on the service promise)

( Part of the Content from this article was provided by a recent presentation by Donald Jones to the Members of The CEO Institute at our November Faith & Business Forums.)

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About The CEO Institute

I am a Christian Businessman in The Dallas Area and am President of an organization called The CEO Institute. www.ceoinst.com. We help Christian Business Executives to learn how to lead and manage their companies in a Biblically consistent, Kingdom Building manner.
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