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Business Times Column

by Marcus

Do You Consistently Stand Out In The Marketplace?

As consumers become increasingly discerning with their financial resources, it is more important than ever to be consistent in your professional offerings. Exceptional companies are the ones that standout in the marketplace, and they do so by delivering a high-quality customer service experience on a consistent basis.

Consider your own recent experiences when spending your hard-earned money. Of your last ten experiences, how many companies really stood out as being “exceptional”? How many were “mediocre at best”? And, how many of those experiences were “downright poor”?

Next, reflect on the qualities that made up each of these experiences. Were you treated with dignity and respect? Did the product or service you purchased exceed your wants and needs? Will you happily do business with this company again, and will you refer family and friends to them?

In the answers to these questions you will find your own professional secret to greater happiness and success. By understanding what you value most in your own personal experiences in the marketplace, and recreating these in your business, your company will become one that stands out.

I recently had an experience with a local restaurant I have been frequenting for almost two decades. During this time, they have delivered a consistent experience in their service and food. However, on this occasion, the experience my family and I received was poor. We were not cared for as human beings, were given excuses and lies in their attempts to justify the multiple situations that went awry, and ultimately we left with a “bad taste” in our mouths, so to speak. In the end, I am not inclined do business with this company again.

The point I am making here is this: as a business you can perform at high levels for years, but it only takes one really paltry experience for customers to stop doing business with you, and to share their negative experience with others. Consistency is vital in becoming a stand-out company, and it is your steadfast commitment to consistency that will allow you to stay in that position.

Creating the exceptional customer service experience on a consistent basis begins with the owners of a company. If those who have brought the company into existence are integrity based and endeavor to give their customers more reasons to say “yes” and less reasons to say “no”, then the likelihood of becoming an extraordinary company in the marketplace grows.

The next step is to hire managers and team members who are caring. These are people that will hold themselves personally accountable to delivering to others the same kind of experience they would want to have themselves. When the team members of a company do not come to work with the intention of being their best and caring for the customer, that same company will be negatively impacted by their attitudes and resulting behaviors.

Toward the goal of helping them be their best on a consistent basis, it is imperative to offer your entire team ongoing skills and relationship training. Effective training will position your company to operate at the highest standards possible in meeting the wants and needs of your client base. With a positive mindset and solid skills in place, your team members will be positioned to deliver an exceptional experience each time they connect with your very valuable customers.

Being a stand-out company is not about being perfect; it is about giving your absolute best, day in and day out. When something gets missed in your customer service, your integrity must sweep in and make it right for the very people that make your business possible. In the restaurant experience I shared, the outcome would have been much different if the manager would have simply accepted responsibility for their poor performance and made a solid attempt to rectify it.

It is the quality of each experience your customers have with your business that matters most. The critical ingredients of a consistently exceptional experience are: exceptional people, exceptional products and exceptional services. Get these correct, and your business will be one of the greats.

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This article was written for and published in collaboration with The Business Times newspaper.

Access the article here.