What is your product or service that you are really selling? Trust
One thing that I keep communicating at work is that our real product is TRUST – not some machines or services that leave our facility every day. Whatever the finished product is, customers expect great quality, pricing, delivery and service as a given. How else can you differentiate yourself then? It is your organization and how the customer can expect to experience your company as a trustworthy partner that will not jeopardize his job or his organization. He needs to get a quote on time just as well as a timely and accurately sent invoice. When problems arise there had better be a live person in product or customer support answering the phone.
Trust is based on delivering a pattern of predictable outcome at EVERY level of the organization. How do you generate trust? One key item is commitment management. Foster an environment that teaches your employees how to request, negotiate and communicate task requests. Are the conditions of satisfaction (who, when, what, how?) known and communicated well enough? Part of a request is the commitment of the performer to carry out the task and the commitment of the customer to provide the details that will lead to a satisfactory completion of the task. Important is the continuous and detailed communication process during this phase. This is true for internal and external customer-performer relationships. Repeat these few steps and you will spoil every customer because mastering this will propel you far over the average customer service experience in the industry. Even though we live in a service driven society, the average customer service experience leaves room for lots of improvement.
The concept of creating and building trust is simple. It is much tougher to deliver on it. Master it and you will become the industry leader by delivering convincingly to one customer at a time.