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Business Times Column

by Marcus

Does Your Business Stand-Out in The Marketplace?

Consumers typically have a variety of businesses to choose from when in the market for a certain product or service, and are increasingly discerning with their financial resources when looking to satisfy their individual wants and needs. This is why it’s more important than ever to be consistent in your professional offerings. Exceptional companies, in any marketplace, stand out when they deliver high-quality customer service experiences on a consistent basis.

To illustrate this point, take a moment to consider your own recent experiences when spending your hard-earned money. Of your last ten experiences, how many companies really stood out as “exceptional”? How many were “mediocre”? And, how many of those experiences were “downright poor”?

Next, reflect on the defining qualities that created 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 buy from this company again? Would you, without hesitation, refer your family and friends to do business with them too?

In the honest answers to these (and other) questions you ask of yourself lies your own secret to greater professional success. By understanding what you value most in your personal experiences, and then duplicating these in your business for your customers, you will be happier and your company will quickly “stand-out” in the marketplace.

Your business can perform at high levels for years, but it only takes one paltry experience for a regular customer to stop doing business with you, and then share that negative experience with countless others. It truly costs next to nothing to earn high quality referrals from your customers, yet it is so very costly to have consumers think poorly of your business.

Consistency in several key areas is vital to operating and building a stand-out business, and it is your steadfast commitment to consistency that will allow you to stay in that position.

• Exceptional Customer Service: Creating an exceptional customer service experience on a consistent basis always begins with a company’s owners. When 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”—the likelihood of being an extraordinary company grows.

• A Caring Team: When company owners hire managers and team members who care, they create a cohesive group of people who hold themselves personally accountable to delivering to others the same kind of customer experience they would want to have themselves. Likewise, when a company’s team members do not work with the intention of being their best and caring for the customer—both in their attitudes and their behaviors—the company will be negatively impacted and revenues will be lost.

• Training and Skill Development: Toward the goal of helping team members be their best on a consistent basis, it is imperative to offer ongoing training and skills development in the areas of relationship-building, customer service, sales, listening, communication and leadership. Effective training will position your company to operate at the highest standards possible and will position you to meet, and exceed, the desires of your growing clientele. By instilling a positive mindset and developing necessary skills, your CARING team members will be positioned to deliver an EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCE each and every time they connect with your valuable customers.

• Making It Right: Being a stand-out company is not about being perfect. It is, however, about giving your absolute best day in and day out. When you or your team “drops the ball” with a customer, your integrity must sweep in—no matter what— and make it right for the very person who makes operating your business in the first place possible.

In summary, remember that it is the quality of each individual customer experience 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 always stand-out as 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.