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Differentiate Your Business with Exceptional Customer Service

Customer Service - Small Business

How do you differentiate your business and stand out from your competition? The answer seems easy enough: Provide a great service. But what exactly does that entail?

"Great service" can mean different things to different people. As a good rule of thumb, think of a company that has provided poor service to you, and do the opposite of what they did... and more!

Small business owners, especially those without employees or administrative help, wear many different "hats" and are often rushed and overworked. Occasionally this can lead to inadequate communication with customers, and maybe even less than stellar work quality. And having employees is not a guarantee of exemplary work.

Customers may not complain about "mediocre" service, since that is what we as a society have been conditioned to accept. So if you provide EXCELLENT service, it will be remembered, and will help to solidify your company's reputation. A company with a proven reputation and excellent customer references can generally gain more business (and even higher prices) than a competing company that provides only mediocre service.

Qualities That Comprise "Great Service"

Great service includes, but is not limited to:

Although it may be tempting to "sway" a customer to purchase more services than he or she may need, resist that temptation. The customer will appreciate your honesty, will be more likely to refer you to others, may become a repeat customer, and might end up purchasing those extra services anyway.

You need to actually "care" about the quality of your work and your customers' satisfaction. If you're in business just for the money and you truly don't care about your work or your customers, it will show, and your company is more likely to fail.

Some Statistics About Customer Service

70% of satisfied customers will become repeat customers, and all of them will tell at least 5 others about their positive experience with your company.*

On average, 98% of dissatisfied customers won't complain to you; instead, they will simply not become repeat customers. And they will tell 9 other people about their negative experience.

The differentiating factor from one business to the next is often the level of customer service and not the price!* And businesses with perceived high customer service can sustain higher prices than their competition.**

* Edward Lowe Foundation -
** The Profit Impact of Market Strategy Report (PIMS)

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