In this age of uncertainty, one thing remains certain: Things are as tough and confusing for your customers as they are for you. Like you, they’re looking for an edge. They’re looking for a way to make things easier, to cut through the clutter, to do their jobs and stay in business, and maybe even eke out a profit. That’s where your opportunity lies: You can give your best customers the edge they’re looking for and improve your profits in the process. Concierge Customer Service (or CCS, for short) achieves that goal by giving your most profitable customers a level of service that not only makes their lives and jobs easier, but also improves the customers’ efficiency. That’s the edge concierge customer service gives you.
It is why CCS proves to be such a win-win for your company: Because the CCS system provides your top customers with such profit-generating perks as fast and efficient problem resolution, priority call on inventory availability, and preferred pricing; the benefits of the system flow to your customers’ bottom lines and to yours. Your company can differentiate itself in the marketplace by making a new, compelling case for doing business with you, creating a marketplace bias toward your company that inheres not in the friendly smiles of your donut-delivering sales force, but in the increased efficiency and profitability of your customers.
You begin to see, then, why and how Concierge Customer Service can drive growth in your company. Let’s dive a bit deeper into the edge concierge customer service gives you.
The myriad benefits of the Concierge Customer Service system include, but are not limited to, Conversion, Penetration of your market, and Retention—CPR.
Conversion benefits derive when you draw from your competitors the customers who resemble closely your most profitable customers. Why can you do that? Because this exceptional level of service, a level your competitors cannot afford to match, becomes a potent tool for your sales team, who can now offer solid, rational reasons for doing business with you.
Penetration of your market increases as the benefits of your Concierge Customer Service system become apparent to other customers—in particular your marginal accounts. Once those accounts see the advantages your top-tier customers gain, the marginal accounts will want access to those benefits. That gives you the opportunity to show less profitable customers what actions to take to secure the higher-level service. Those actions, of course, are the actions that will make those accounts profitable for you.
Retention benefits emerge particularly among your most profitable customers, who are the only customers who receive true Concierge Customer Service. You achieve those benefits in three ways:
- You provide your most profitable customers with a level of service that your competitors can’t, making it impossible for those competitors to steal your most profitable customers away from you. The retention benefits will actually extend beyond your top-tier customers: Because the mindset of Concierge Customer Service will “trickle down” through your organization to change its very culture, and because this system will provide feedback from customers at all levels of profitability, you will glean retention benefits across the board. That means you can retain more of the customers whom you want to keep.
- Second, by implementing the Concierge Customer Service system, you ensure exceptional levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty throughout your organization because you constantly garner customer input through the Feedback Generator.
- Third, this system will increase the frequency and the quality of communication between your operating team and your customers’ operating teams, building rapport, increasing loyalty, and engendering a feeling of true partnership between you and your customer.
In addition to these CPR benefits, your Concierge Customer Service system can increase your profitability through these additional mechanisms:
- Increased flow of leads—The Concierge Customer Service system’s Feedback Generator produces a constant flow of testimonials, satisfaction data, referrals, and even online reviews with virtually no effort, dramatically increasing your ability to attract qualified prospects. That’s how you simply and easily benefit from specialization and division of labor in lead generation and conversion.
- Continuous process improvement—The statistical satisfaction data from your Feedback Generator not only demonstrate how satisfied your customers are, overall, but also identify specific areas in which you enjoy opportunities for improvement, in your customer service and beyond. For example, the overall statistical data may show you that 95% of your customers are satisfied but the specific data may still show that they’re less satisfied with your website than they are with other areas. That pattern shows you exactly where you need to improve. By gathering clear, concise information from your customers, you can address areas that need your attention and look for ways to increase your customers’ positive experiences doing business with you.
- Customer service bellwethers—If a customer proves to be dissatisfied, the Feedback Generator should alert your customer service team so that they can respond quickly. If that disgruntled customer is a CCS customer, a dedicated representative will solve the problem. If the customer is not in the top tier, other representatives can contact the customer to understand and resolve the issue. This rapid response system allows you to identify and resolve issues before they cost you customers and dollars.
- Personnel benefits—Because they show you exactly where problems lie, the data that your Feedback Generator provide show you how to reduce not only customer service complaints, but also issues related to ordering, deliverability, accounting, and invoicing. As you solve those problems and reduce complaints, your customer service personnel will hear from far fewer irritated customers and spend more of their time building relationships with customers and less time solving problems. That, in turn, will increase the representatives’ job satisfaction.
But what of the other customers, those who don’t qualify for this exceptional level of service? The Concierge Customer Service system ensures that these customers will always receive a high level of service—just not the exceptional level offered to their more-profitable counterparts.
By coupling the institution of Concierge Customer Service with intentional use of specialization and division of labor—especially between your sales and customer service teams—the gains for your customers, your company, your personnel, and your profits can prove great.
Steps to Becoming Customer-Centric
Implementing Concierge Customer Service can be accomplished with three simple steps:
- In Phase I, you answer the two most important, but frequently unanswered questions in business: (a) “what do your customers want?” and (b) “how satisfied are they with the extent to which you are giving them what they want?”
- In Phase II, you leverage the answers to those questions to customize your Concierge Customer Service system for your business, so that you offer high-level customer service to all of your customers and Concierge Customer Service to your most profitable customers, and then,
- In Phase III, you maintain a high-caliber system to measure customer sentiment, consistently and effectively, to ensure you constantly (a) serve your customers well by knowing them well and (b) fuel your marketing with testimonials and statistical data that most of your competitors lack.
By taking full advantage of the edge Concierge Customer Service gives you, you can begin to place yourself ahead of the competition.
Want to learn more?
This blog post is based off material from my book with Randy MacLean, “YOU CAN’T SERVE THEM WELL IF YOU DON’T KNOW THEM WELL: Capturing and Captivating Customers with Concierge Customer Service™”
You can get the first two chapters for FREE here.
If you’d like a full copy of the entire book, you can get it here.
Dr. Jeanne Hurlbert, President of Hurlbert Consulting is an expert in sociology and survey research. After spending more than 25 years in academia, she now uses her extensive behavioral science expertise to help companies like yours distinguish yourselves through customer service. What sets her approach to customer service apart is that she begins by helping companies meld research and marketing to find out exactly
(a) what their customers want and
(b) how well they’re succeeding in giving customers what they want.
You can schedule a consult with her by going to www.ConciergeCustomerService.com; you can call her at 888-590-9677; or send an email here. And, if you’d like to complete her complimentary assessment to see how well you’re doing in knowing and serving your customers well, just go to www.FixYourService.com.