There is Never a Crowd on the Extra Mile

 

The most successful companies and the highest paid salespeople place great value on developing lifetime relationships with their customers and actively look for opportunities to render service above and beyond their customers’ expectations. In today’s competitive marketplace, your customers are aggressively pursued by your competitors and their loyalty cannot be taken for granted. Customer-focused companies and individuals recognize that relationship building and follow-on customer service are critical components for promoting both customer retention and long-term revenue growth.


“Five (5%) percent increase in customer retention can result in seventy-five (75%) percent increase in customer value.” – Fred Reichheld, Loyalty Rules


In the simplest terms, think about what it takes to extend a three-year contract into a twenty-year collaborative relationship.  Creating an environment where you and your team are performing at a level that is clearly defined as “going the extra mile.”


“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” – Roger Staubach


All too often, however, high levels of service and customer satisfaction are taken for granted and go un-noticed by decision makers at an executive level. I was with some sales reps. recently, and observed first-hand, just how good they are to their customers.  How well they listen, observe, understand, offer expertise and execute action.  On one particular day, I asked the rep., “Who, at this client,  knows about the exceptional level of service you are delivering here?” He responded without hesitation, “The department manager”.  Inquiring further, I asked, “Who else? Who else in this organization knows what you just did for them?  My guess is that you and your team go the extra mile on a regular basis.  This needs to be shared with the executive levels of this company.  They need to know that they have a partner that consistently goes the extra mile for them.”  The sales rep. nodded in agreement, but it was clear to me that he did not have a plan for doing so.


How do you communicate the value of your service to your customer?  Here are five tips to get you started:

1Keep customers involved in your activities and use every channel available to speak with your customers

•Provide them with useful information and gather feedback. Regular interaction with your customers will help build trust and loyalty.

2Monitor Key Performance Indicators (“KPI”) regularly and make changes if necessary.
• Make sure you use the information you gather to improve your customer service. For example, if your level of on-time deliveries falls, you need to identify why and take steps to address the problem.
3. Collect information about your customers.
• Know their business.  Gathering regular feedback and monitoring customer satisfaction is essential to maintain high standards of customer care.
4. Benchmark your service against that of your competitors.
• Ask your customers who they consider your competitors to be - this can provide some surprising insights into your market position.
5. Remember your customers' customers.
• Consider how your service levels will affect your, customer’s customers.


At Butler Street, we believe it is critical to formalize this process.  Our Quarterly Business Review (QBR) methodology is guaranteed to strengthen/advance your customer relationships and keep them of aware of how you go the extra mile.  Our QBR process will help you:

 

• Be a partner, not a vendor
• Understand the current state of the relationship
• Benchmark  performance v. SLA’s
• Meet the stated objectives of the program
• Achieve operational excellence
• Gain an understanding of the customer’s current critical concerns and objectives and how you can align to create value
• Expand your relationship
• Provide key stakeholders with a forum to examine and discuss your current state of the partnership, issues, opportunities, and priorities going forward
• Ultimately determine the best set of initiatives to execute the following quarter


Don’t be hesitant to share all of your good work with your customers.  The return on your relationship will be measured in revenue and profit growth. 


“Butler Street transformed our company.  You raised our self-esteem.  This is something we could not have done ourselves.” - President, RPO


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