>According to a Gallup survey of one million customers, the four things customers want most are: accuracy, availability, partnership and advice. There is also a hierarchical order to these expectations which means that the lower-level ones must be met before the customer is ready to pay attention to the levels higher up.

Level 1: Accuracy is the lowest level. If the job isn’t done correctly, then customers don’t care how courteous or friendly the employees are, they will defect. Quality trumps service.

Level 2: Availability is the second level. Customers expect that employees will be responsive and accessible when they need them. They expect convenience in the flow of the buying process and that the organization is easy to do business with.

Level 3: Partnership is the next level. Customers don’t want to feel they are in an adversarial relationship with the organization. They want to feel that you understand them and are on the same side of the fence with them. By looking through the lens of the customer, you can begin to see their perspective.

Level 4: Advice is the fourth and highest level. When a customer feels they have learned something from your organization that they didn’t know before, they form their strongest association with you. Advice breeds customer loyalty. Ways to offer advice may come in the form of teaching customers how to use your product better, additional information or insights, an inside tip that is not advertised to all. The key is to ensure your employees be knowledgeable.

If your business has the goal to create loyal customers who will become fans and advocates, start by looking for opportunities in each of the above 4 things that has been validated by customers as to what they want most.

Teri Yanovitch is a leading speaker, trainer and consultant on creating a culture of customer service within an organization. Her firm T.A.Yanovitch, Inc. provides a clear and proven process on how to create this culture of service and helps guide organizations to ensure their success. Through her presentations, workshops and training, Teri has assisted organizations from all industries to differentiate their business through the competitive edge of the customer experience.

Her highly acclaimed book Unleashing Excellence – The Complete Guide to “ Ultimate Customer Service” has sold over 32,000 books and is recognized as a practical, hands-on approach to providing a seamless extraordinary service experience to retain customers and employees. Contact Teri at ty@retainloyalcustomers.com for your next speaking engagement or for a copy of her book.

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