From The Don Hutson Report
(This is part four in an 8-part series on Don Hutson’s 7 Types of Differentiation.)
Experiential Differentiation is the unique way you perform services for your clients. Think about it for a minute. Do you and your team members give them an experience to remember as opposed to just good service? If Just good service is what most everybody else provides (only enough to get by), experiential differentiation can be your secret sales weapon. The “Bar of Excellence” in terms of customer satisfaction is higher today than ever before. We need to determine that we are going to remain at the top in comparison to similar product and service providers by truly differentiating ourselves from the competition.
Since our goal is to make clients happy with the way we work – and to keep them that way – let’s explore the tactical side of service delivery. To demonstrate exceptional interpersonal skills, we need to display the following 8 behaviors when one-on-one with customers:
• Greet them with a sincere smile – in person and on the phone
• Maintain good eye contact coupled with exceptional listening
• Exhibit a can-do spirit
• Provide efficient responses
• Make apologies when appropriate
• Ask what else you can do to enhance their satisfaction
• Use their name
• Thank them and invite them to reconnect the next time they need your brand of service
What if one of your top ten biggest customers used the A-F grade scale to rate you and your top 4 competitors in multiple service areas like:
a. Creative solutions to problems
b. Prompt response to inquiries
c. On-time order delivery and price accuracy
d. No-hassle relationship skills
e. Exceptional telephone skills
How would you and your colleagues stack up? If you do a deep dive to see how you could achieve exceptional performance in these areas, you will have a good idea about your level of experiential differentiation. You will also have a very useful report card you can use as a guide to adding any improvements required to maintain – and expand – your competitive advantage.
In their excellent book, The Experience Economy, Pine and Gilmore elaborate on the power and potential of creating exceptional service experiences to impress customers and gain loyalty and allegiance. This merits out-of-the-box thinking on your part and uncompromising support from your management team! This can also serve as an additional boost to your goal of dominance in a competitive market. The edge you gain can make a ton of difference.
If you want to benefit from the Graduate Course in providing exceptional experiences, you must position yourself to perform periodic “customer service miracles”. This can happen when you make client service excellence your primary goal. You have to be looking for the opportunities. When one presents itself, seize it! A client service miracle is something that, when performed, makes clients say “WOW!” If you are not looking for these opportunities, they will be whizzing by your head all week long. People love great service and exceptional experiences where they do business.
Written by Society of Entrepreneurs member, Don Hutson, a #1 NY Times and Wall Street Journal Best-selling author and a Hall of Fame speaker. He also serves a CEO of U. S. Learning based in Memphis, TN
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