If you want to be successful you have to be focused. That is a rather trite statement, but think about it for a second. The world is a big place. There is somebody out there somewhere who is doing exactly the same things as you are; they have the same gifts as you do. The same skills as you do. The only way you can beat them is by being more focused than they are.
It doesn’t matter if you are selling apples or a competitive ballroom dancer, the logic holds painfully true.
Most customer service operations aren’t that focused; in fact I would go as far as to say most of them are clueless. That is another trite statement, but think for a few more seconds. Think of the last time you visited the optician, or rang your mobile phone supplier or had to speak to somebody in local government. Was it a good experience? Were they focused on giving you what you need?
I stand by my trite statement. Most service providers are not focused. This begs a handful of questions:
Question 1: What should they focus on?
Now the easy answer is “the customer”, but that can get really confusing. Who is the customer? Is it the person who rings in who wants one thing? Is it Frank in accounts who wants something different? Is it the rather scary lady from the regulator who wants it all, and then some? Is it the share holder who doesn’t care what on earth it is so long as it makes some money for him? Who is it?
The easiest and simplest way to work out who the customer is, is to ask yourself who pays, who hands over the cash for the service? That is the customer, as long as you keep that person happy the money will keep rolling in.
Question 2: What does the customer want?
I hope that is a fairly straight forward job to work out. They want security guards, or legal advice, or their teeth drilled or whatever it is you are selling. It is fairly obvious. They probably don’t want:
- Cross sold insurance
- Their name passed on to a direct marketing agency
- To fund your working capital
- Or any manner of other things that will make you a quick buck
Question 3: Are you giving them what they want?
There are only really 3 things a customer worries about:
- Getting what they want (quality)
- When they want it (delivery)
- At the right price (cost)
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in the three things a customer worries about are quality, delivery, and cost. That is all they will ever complain about.
So, if you want to be successful, you need to be focused and if you need to be focused you need to know:
- Who your customer is
- What they want
- If you are giving them that (quality, delivery and cost)
Question 4: How focused are you?
Can you point at the data and the answers to the first three questions and are you doing something about it?
If you can’t what would it take to get there?
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