If you were to talk to the top marketing firms about how they help businesses grow, they would likely talk your ear off about things like social media presence, search engine optimization, and video marketing.
While all of these elements are undoubtedly valuable, there’s one piece of the puzzle that often gets overlooked – customer service.
These days, the competition for any business is much more intense than years past. Rather than trying to edge yourself out from a pool of hundreds of other brands, you need to compete with big corporations and other heavy hitters. How can you do that? By over-delivering.
At the 6 to 7 Figures Podcast, we understand the value of customer service and how it can impact your bottom line. That’s also why we brought in Brian Kurtz, author of the book Overdeliver: Build a Business for a Lifetime Playing the Long Game in Direct Response Marketing. With almost 40 years of customer service experience, he knows more than a few things about how it can affect a brand’s marketing strategy.
Short vs. Long-Term Planning
No matter what industry you’re in, the goal should be to succeed in the long-term, right? That’s assuming that you’re not trying to cash in on a fleeting fad and then move onto the next big thing. Even if you don’t want to run your business forever, you should still build it up so that you can sell it and get the most out of your investment.
The problem is that so many businesses don’t think like that. When it comes to measuring success or failure, CEOs and owners are looking for a quick and easy fix. Unfortunately, that usually means cutting corners and costs while raising prices. While that may work for a little while, it can ultimately ruin your business.
Customer service isn’t just about creating a satisfied clientele. It’s about building a brand reputation that will last. It’s not enough to have customers who think your product or service is “good” or “okay.” To succeed in the long term, you need to be blowing them away so that they are enthusiastic about coming back for more.
The Customer Guides the Business, Not the Opposite
Another problem that so many companies experience is that they will come out with a new product or offering that doesn’t really add value to the customer. How many times have you seen an “upgraded” feature that seemed unnecessary or worse, harmful?
Typically, this issue occurs when there is a disconnect between those on the front lines (your customer service reps) and those in development. Those reps are the ones fielding complaints and learning about the pieces that customers like the most. You need to use that information to drive your business forward. Focus on the elements that get the best responses and fix anything that’s creating problems.
According to Kurtz, your customers will tell you what they want – all you have to do is listen. Absorbing that feedback is essential for long-term growth, and it can lead you to so many opportunities.
Quantity vs. Quality in Over-Delivery
At first, it may seem obvious how you can “over-deliver” to your customers. Just give them some free stuff, right? Well, it’s not that simple. If someone is buying a vacuum cleaner, will a free pair of socks make them choose your brand over a competitor?
Rather than taking the “quantity” approach, you should focus on over-delivering the right way. Add value to the purchase and the customer experience by making those bonuses related in some way. If you’re selling a vacuum, throw in a couple of bags. Your customers will appreciate the effort, and they’ll be far more likely to come back next time (and recommend you to others).
If you want to find out more about Brian and the concept of over-delivery, check out our episode here. Also, be sure to buy his book at overdeliverbook.com. As a testament to Brian’s commitment to the concept, you’ll get so many bonuses that it’s foolish not to buy it.