Three Principles For Success
Consistent quality has been made easier through new technologies. However, like customer service, quality should be fabulous and cover all actions and processes in your company. Achieving consistently high levels of quality is often challenging, but it is also valuable, and underpins everything on your road to success.
Without consistently great quality, success cannot be maintained, no matter how authentic you are, or how fabulous your customer service is. Gaining a reputation for high quality is a vital ingredient to success.
OK customer service or even good customer service is simply not good enough. No, I am saying that by treating customers fabulously you can achieve fabulous results. Customers love the feeling that comes from receiving much more than they expect. Your goal must be to provide a level of customer service that is beyond what customers expect, it should be deliberately designed to delight customers. How many of your customers are delighted?
A reputation for fabulous customer service spreads like wildfire in today’s inter-connected world. Go check what your customers think of your customer service. If they do not describe it as fabulous, extremely pleasing or beyond belief - you have a way to go!
Great Leaders go to extremes to create fabulous customer service. If a customer needs it tomorrow, deliver it today. If the customer contract calls for a reduction in costs smash that target. If you make a mistake, put it right immediately and then give the customer something to remember positively from the bad experience. Customers remember how you correct mistakes and tell others.
Use customers to drive your marketing efforts through referrals and sharing their experiences with you. It is the cheapest and most effective form of marketing. In my book ‘it does matter’ I explain how a very senior executive of IBM described our customer service as “Alex and his team care more about our products than many of us!”
The majority of today's customers, have no experience of Post War shortages, no wish to have the second best of anything, no desire to accept spurious products or services. They demand genuine products and superb service, they have no wish to buy for the sake of buying, they will simply return or refuse to buy poorly made products, and walk away from shoddy service, never to return. Worse still, they will use Social media to tell everyone else about how bad their experience was with you!
Becoming authentic is about 'walking the talk', and never claiming to be something you are not. By all means copy best practice from others, but then drive yourself to be better than those you copied. It is essential that you practice being open and genuine in everything you do internally and externally, always acting in good faith and aiming to gain customer's trust, over time. Being authentic is about being and feeling worthy every day. Learning from your experiences and adopting continuous improvement as a culture. It is about building trust with and in other people. Once customers trust you - great things happen.
In my new book ‘it does matter’ I give examples of how by using these three principles to success I was able to lead businesses from rock bottom to the top of the pile. The turnarounds were achieved when I executed the fundamental principles that lie behind the three principles to success. If you get these three principles right - success will follow.