“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”
— Steve Jobs
Customer service is tough in any industry. Firms must continuously strive to be better in understanding and anticipate what their customers will value. Moreover, they must keep up with delivering it.
If your company manages to go two steps ahead and guess what the customers may want before it is on offer anywhere, you can be sure you’ve headed on to something big. Customer service undoubtedly holds amazing opportunities, and companies that produce incredible service to every customer have a clear competitive advantage.
There are two basic aspects to customer value: desired value and perceived value. Desired value refers to what customers are looking for in a product or service. Perceived value is the benefit that a customer believes he or she received from a product after it was purchased. In order for your customer to be willing to pay, they must derive value from a market offer. Motivated customers perceive preference for your product, based on the estimation that your product may help them achieve their goals.
So how do you sparkle the motivation? As with most things in life, the motivation is all about pushing the right button at the right moment. What customer wonders is what I am going to receive worth, what I have to give up to get it?
Successful companies work in favor of their customers. If you take a look at the most successful people in the industry, you’ll notice that at the core of their business attitude, there is a sort of ardent decisiveness about what they offer and how they address the customer. The customer is why we are here, most of them say. And we can be sure they mean every word of it. If we take good care of the customers, they will have a good reason to come back.
Not only that a happy customer comes back, but he also brings more customers.
‘One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising’. The word of mouth is still trusted more than any advert. That is why in successful companies they are very serious about the approach that the customer service is not a department – it is everyone’s job. The math is rather simple – if you don’t take your customers genuinely, chances are that they won’t buy.
Jerry Gregoire, CIO at Dell Computers, points at the direction in which the customer-orientated companies are heading towards. It is not only about properly and timely delivery of the service anymore – it is about enhancing the experience of being served. You don’t simply want to offer the best customer service anymore. You want it to be legendary.
“The customer experience is the next competitive battleground”, he says.
Companywide commitment, genuine friendliness and understanding the customer experience are what matters. “That shows the difference between offering a great experience and selling a commodity, and that difference turns into real dollars”, Gregoire concludes.