How Customized Service Wins Repeat Business

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With your growing business (congratulations, by the way), becoming more efficient is necessary. However, with all of this streamlining, are you unintentionally gravitating toward standardized service? If so, pull back from the one-size-fits-all gravitational pull and strive for customized interactions.

Building Your Business on Customized Service

Approach clients with a solutions-based attitude by immediately delving into how you can tailor your company’s abilities to meet their goals. Although this method requires more time and resources, customers who receive personalized solutions that solve unique needs are the ones most likely to give outstanding referrals and become long-term partners.

Here are some best practices for working toward a customized approach:

Get a crystal ball. Resist the urge to go right to what you already know. Instead, dig deeper into the interaction. Often, by just listening and asking a few more questions, you can easily identify needs before your customer does. This approach will instantly build rapport and instill confidence in your company’s ability to deliver.

Sharing is caring. Develop a training-based culture that thrives in an environment of continuous improvement. Our company trains our customer advocates with an extensive eight-week course. We also share successes and failures weekly to make sure everyone continues to learn and expand their capabilities. This creates a team of empowered experts who understand that some needs are going to be greater than others, and they’re equipped to make decisions that create the best experience possible.

It’s OK to be called “easy.” Customers like easy. When customers have to navigate a complex web of policies and procedures, they’re instantly turned off and look elsewhere. Keep your rules flexible so your teams can be agile in presenting clients with options. When you’re quick to say “no” or “we can’t do that,” you adopt a defeatist attitude that stifles creativity.

Check for a pulse. Just as customers prefer easy, they also like doing business with a live person. If you’ve ever asked Siri for something, and she’s come back with a slightly off-topic response, it’s because she’s programmed to attempt to solve your query. Your customers deserve more than just an attempt. They deserve responsive, one-on-one interactions with real, knowledgeable people.

It smells like team spirit. A team mentality ensures that customers are properly routed when they have a unique request. Establishing escalation points is a great way to identify how to move customers along in the sales funnel. Our company has a variety of teams that specialize in things like standard offerings, custom quotes, key accounts, and resellers. By getting customers to the proper team, we address each customer’s needs, and we devote the right resources to each order.

It’s not you; it’s me. Although it’s important to focus on individualized service, it’s also important to know your core competencies. If you can’t put together a customized offering that meets the customer’s needs, both in service and cost, recognize that you might not be the best option. Honesty is the best policy; your customer will thank you for not wasting her time and resources.

Remarkable service requires more than just servicing the customer when you have her on the line. Go above by looking beyond what you’re currently doing. Get creative with solutions that increase the customer’s efforts while making her life easier.

When your business develops this approach, you don’t need to shout it at every customer. It will inherently be felt. These customers will become your strongest brand advocates, creating word-of-mouth marketing and credibility for your organization.

Andrew Field
Andrew Field is the President and CEO of PrintingForLess.com, a print and marketing technology solutions company that prides itself on being called "America's Print Shop." Connect with Andrew on Twitter and Google+.

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