The Process is the Product – Customer Service
The process is the value, the brand and the outcome driver. The process is, in other words, the product.
Effective business is managed with effective process, and it is in those steps and decisions that a business can find ways to stand out and be of value. This is true for all aspects of business, and today I want to focus particularly on customer service.
Service is what people buy
Recently I picked up Gary Vaynerchuk’s book The Thank You Economy, to gather some quotes as I prepared for a presentation. I also came across some statistics he shared back in 2011 about customer service:
- 40% of buyers switched brands because of a good service reputation
- 55% cite service as the key differentiator in buying decisions
As part of the same research I came across news showing that by 2020, service will outweigh both product and price for consumers making buying decisions.
When a buyer is considering their purchase, they will look at the product specifications, they will look at the price and how it matches their budget, but both of these things ultimately will be outweighed by the service offerings of the vendor.
What does this mean for you
It means that your service levels are the product you are selling. Your business will be scrutinized for how you communicate with, deliver to, serve and assist your customers.
Making it essential to have a process in place ensuring all of this is done at the highest level.
A good service delivery process will stand out as a unique selling proposition – something about your product that makes your business shine. It will also allow you to showcase aspects of your unique value proposition, making such values stand out at the appropriate times.
Most importantly, it will allow you to capture and keep those good clients. What you are telling them, when you have a good service delivery process, is that you care about your business and you care about them. It helps them know what to expect and removes any fears or obstacles in working with you. They will then return to you in the future and bring their friends with them.
How to find a good process
First and foremost: put some thought into it.
Don’t limit yourself to “If the phone rings I pick it up and say hello”. Think about the value of each interaction, of each step, and how it can help advance your relationship and showcase your brand.
Be deliberate in the qualities you choose to demonstrate and the areas of focus of your process and client interactions.
And most importantly: be consistent. People want to know what to expect in working with you, and feel in control of their decisions, their spend and their outcomes. Once you have identified those areas you want to stand out in your process, ensure the client has a consistent and predictable experience every time.
Even if part of your experience is to surprise the client, ensure you are predictable in always delivering a great surprise.
Don’t know where to start in building your service delivery process? Contact me for a workshop and to build your process together.