Your Service Strategy Can Build Sales
There are three core ways to grow your business:
1. Borrow $10-20 million for capital renovation. I am sure your local bank has very low-interest rates and would love to lend you unlimited money.
2. Spend $50,000 -100,000 a month on advertising and marketing. There are probably 1,000 different places that offer advertising options that would all love to take your money.
3. Focus on word-of-mouth advertising where customers love the customer experience, so they come back with their friends. It’s free. This is how Amazon, Apple, Mayo Clinic, and Costco grow their business. You will rarely see TV commercials from these firms. In 2022, Apple had $99 billion in net profit. Amazon grew sales by $44.2 billion. The Mayo Clinic had revenue last year of $16.3 billion and over $1 billion in philanthropic gifts. Costco, the 7th most admired firm by Fortune, ended sales on August 28, 2022, with revenue of $71 billion.
Word-of-mouth is the least expensive way to grow your business and by far the most powerful. But it means that you have to understand the power of the service strategy. All employees need to be trained in customer service. It needs to be top of mind, and they have two to three seconds to make a positive impression.
In almost all developing countries, most organizations have 25% more employees than they need. Most companies and governments believe adding tons of employees because labor costs are low means they are delivering great service. This is a mistake. In the US, most firms used Covid to eliminate their focus on customer service.
Delivering an awesome customer experience is using the stealth approach. It will give you a 10-20 year lead time over your competition. It takes a little money and a lot of effort.
In 1979, I saw companies spending thousands of dollars on marketing, and as customers walked in the door, they (figuratively) issued baseball bats to hit the customer on the head so they didn’t come back. Today, I think customer service is worse than in 1979.
Organizations do not understand the power of the service strategy. They are unwilling to invest money in training and developing their total staff. The most important person in every company is the front-line employee. The least trained, least valued, and least paid. About 99% of customer contact is with these employees.
Employee turnover can be reduced by 50% if the managers and supervisors are trained on how to manage and motivate employees.
John Tschohl is the founder and president of the Service Quality Institute with operations in more than 40 countries. He is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on all aspects of customer service and has developed 17 customer service training programs that are used by companies throughout the world. His monthly strategic newsletter is available online at no charge at www.customer-service.com. He can also be reached on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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