Three Things You Can Do Today to Anticipate Your Competition

The goal of any company is to attract and retain customers to increase their market share. While marketing will make the new customer arrive for the first time, great service will bring them back time and time again. It will not be the only important thing that will make you "impress" your customers. It will be the 1001 little things that will make the big difference. Here are just three that can put you above the competition:

1. Define and dissect each of the customer touch points Moments of Truth in your company's customer experience. Jan Carlzon, as CEO of SAS Airlines, coined the phrase "Moment of Truth" to define whenever a customer comes into contact with any aspect of a business and, as a result, makes an impression of it. Take a potentially negative moment of truth and make it neutral. Take a neutral moment of truth and make a little wow. For example, instruct your front-line staff not to ask questions like "Check in?" (No, I carry these bags wherever I go? ") Or" Have you finished working on it? "(Yes, eating this steak was definitely a chore.") Educate your staff not to say, "May I help you?" Your client obviously needs help if they are approaching the associate. The correct answer should be to greet the customer and ask, "How many do I help you?"

2. Always be aware of different ideas outside your industry that you can CASE (copy and steal everything) that would enhance the customer experience. For example, mall food courts offer free samples of their menu to passing customers. Could you marry this in your lunch restaurant with your unique dinner dishes? Could you offer free samples from the hotel's pool bar menu? A local salon sends handwritten thank you cards to novice clients. You can request the primary contact team to submit a note that is not attached to a search request, just to say "Thank you for your support."

3. Walk regularly around the competition with a "Think like the customer" mindset. What are some of the little things that they do better than you? How can you improve these touch points to enhance and differentiate them? Too often, in our own daily operation, we live in a silo, mistakenly thinking that our competition simply stays there without the intention of doing anything different from before. Doubletree Hotels is famous for its chocolate chip cookies upon arrival. While GM at The Inn at Bay Harbor, Michigan, I married this idea and offered our guests Michigan apple caramel cookies on Friday afternoons. While it wasn't as much as handing out cookies every day, it certainly made a lasting impression on family guests on weekends. Could you marry this idea and adjust it for your business? So go there to really see for yourself how "the other guys" are.