Your business is nothing without your customers. You know that, but sometimes it's easy to forget. It's easy to get caught up in the day to day goings on and forget who your business is there to serve.
In a competitive market you need to do everything you possibly can to be one step ahead of your competition. This is where simple customer service and doing that little bit extra will help you succeed.
Customers remember exceptional service, especially when it's not directly related to making a sale. Follow up calls after you've made a sale, free support once they have your product and showing a genuine interest in the customer are some examples of how you can leave a good impression.
"Here is the simple but powerful rule... always give people more than they expect to get." - Nelson Boswell
Let's use the American company Zappos.com as an example. The company has grown to be a \$1 billion a year company in 10 years (as at 2009) by making its customer service exceptional. See its cool acquisition story in our Hungry Tech giants slider.
Zappos puts customers firmly first, they offer free shipping even on returns and encourage customers to call them about anything. They think of the phone as a branding opportunity and always go the extra mile to please their customers. The company's number one core value is to "deliver WOW through service".
If you want customers to think about your business and evangelise about you like this, then go the extra mile for your customers and it will pay off.
Obviously, delivering exceptional customer service can take time and resources but it has to be considered an investment in your company's success. Just think about your own experiences as a customer, the chances are that when a company did that little bit extra for you it was something that you really appreciated and remembered.
"One of the most important principles of success is developing the habit of going the extra mile." - Napoleon Hill
Perhaps something you can do is to have your customer focused principles at the centre of your businesses strategy. It's very easy to start a business thinking you will deliver good customer service but then get caught up with other things. By focusing your businesses principles around exceptional customer service you will be more likely to stick with it and create a customer focused culture.
Going the extra mile for your customers is a simple principle and it works. After a while your brand will become associated with exceptional customer service and you will stand out above everyone else in your market.
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