Time after time I hear the phrase, “What is your USP (unique selling position?)” What makes my company, or any other company, different from the rest. For some businesses it’s a very simple question to answer, but for others, not so easy. So just what is it that makes a business that looks like every other business on the outside, different from all of the others? Kelly J. Watkins, President of Expressive Concepts shares her point of view on the subject.
(Customer Retention in Colorado)
by Kelly J. Watkins, MBA
It was dark when the hotel shuttle bus picked me up at the airport in Denver, Colorado. We drove for miles before there was any sign of civilization. Finally, I noticed an office complex/commercial development. There were several office buildings and a few hotels sprinkled among the parking lots. At that moment, I was struck by how similar all the hotels were. There was nothing unique about any of them. They were virtually indistinguishable from each other.
None of the usual criteria applied here. For example, location is one of the primary deciding factors for guests. Yet, these hotels are next door to each other. One isn’t closer to the airport. One isn’t closer to downtown.
None of them has a view. There are no sandy beaches, babbling brooks, or towering mountains in sight. The surroundings are all the same. None of them has a beautiful courtyard or flower garden. There are no amenities, such as a swimming pool or an attached restaurant.
I thought to myself. What differentiates these hotels? Why would someone choose to stay at one versus the other? Why would that person return to that hotel? There is only one reason: the people inside. The employees.
If I stayed at one of those hotels, it would be my experience with the employees that would determine whether I would return to that property or go to the building next door. The only thing that distinguishes these hotels is their
The same is true in your business. How your staff treats clients determines if they will return.
Whatever business you’re in, the primary element that distinguishes you from the competition is your employees and the level of service they offer. What your employees do and how they act determines client satisfaction.
You may invest thousands, or millions, of dollars in your facility, your phone system, or your computers. Yet, what matters most to customers is how they are treated by employees. Are you investing in your employees?
Are they properly trained? And, I don’t mean in the technical aspects of the job. I’m talking about training and empowering staff to provide exceptional service.
Does your staff know your company’s customer service philosophy? Do they know how to handle customers who request a refund or demand a guarantee? Can they communicate with the customer using good listening, verbal and non-verbal skills? Does your staff know how to adapt communication to different behavior styles? Can they effectively deal with upset customers?
Developing customer-oriented employees requires an investment. Every employee who comes in contact with a client will make an impact. What type of impact do you want them to make?
For Reprints, please include contact info: By Kelly J. Watkins, MBA. Kelly offers Keynotes and Communication Training. For FREE tips, visit: www.keepcustomers.com or (812)246-2424.
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