Exec Brief #3: Concierge-Level Customer Service
•customer service •management strategies •leadership trainingTuesday, November 17, 2015—Exceptional, concierge-level customer service must be part of your strategy to attract the best customers. Together, Randy MacLean, the President of WayPoint Analytics, and Dr. Jeanne Hurlbert of Hurlbert Consulting explain how concierge-level customer service is integral to sustainable and permanent growth. You can read the Whitepaper in it's entirety here.
When developing your growth strategy, there are six key components. The first is to create a concierge-level customer service experience. You also need to protect and build the core of your business – your most profitable accounts. The third major component is recognizing those accounts that are more valuable to your business than others. Consequently, you must actively reform or trade-away profit-draining accounts. The fifth point on your agenda locks in core accounts with unbeatable advantages. Finally, the last piece of this strategy: develop new business models to improve your marginal accounts.
Concierge-level customer service delivers an experience that your best accounts cannot get anywhere else, but not every account deserves five-star platinum service. This is something special, reserved for your biggest, best, and most profitable accounts. Smaller or unprofitable customers may not need this level of service, but they should know it exists. Other high-end accounts in your market should also hear about the quality of service you provide. In both cases, exceptional service becomes an incentive for existing and potential customers.
Your top customers should have a special, direct line that is always answered by a real person – no navigating an automated system or busy signals. Build up the idea that someone is waiting for their call and that number is a sign of prestige. For your elite customers, problem resolution and customer satisfaction are your highest priorities.
Your concierge-level staff need dedicated space, resources, and, most importantly, the authority to solve problems immediately. From management on down, everyone needs to know that these people can go outside the normal process to improve the customer experience. From the customer's perspective, they must believe that they are only phone call away from a solution – from satisfaction.
When you invest in this level of service, your top accounts need to know. Your sales team should recognize the value of this service as a conversion tool. Exceptional service will make it easier to protect, trade, and reform your customers. A valuable account may have a huge cost-to-serve, but your sales team can tell that account that they won't get the five-star service until they reduce their costs and reform their practices. Tell your customers how they can qualify for this service. Be sure they understand the benefits. If you solve a problem for a top customer, tell them about it. Don't let your customer forget how your service helps them.
But you also need to listen. Go beyond simple reports and look for opportunities to know and understand your customers. While gathering feedback, you can begin collecting testimonials, generating referrals, and building online reviews.
Many of these principles come down to giving your customer more. Or, rather: M.O.R.E.
Your top-quality customer service must have the proper Mindset. Your staff should be willing, able, and empowered to take Ownership of customer problems and provide solutions. Your results and your service should be Referable. People should talk about the Experience you've provided. That experience is the final component. Provide service that is so exceptional and so different that your competitors cannot match it.
If you are interested in these results, review Jeanne Hurlbert's white paper here and identify people in your company who fit the concierge-level customer service attitude. After an hour-long session with Jeanne, you will have an action plan to move from where you are to where you want to be and you will take your best steps toward developing a service level in your company that delights your customers.
For more information about Dr. Jeanne Hurlbert, visit: www.hurlbertconsulting.com
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