When asked what excellent customer service means, an American Express survey uncovered key competitive differentiators that companies should be paying attention to. This survey was conducted on 1000 consumers in Singapore. It showed that 51% of customers consider value for money as the top concern, but 1/5 said excellent customer service was most important in considering with whom they would do business.
The three factors that were noted to comprise excellent service were identified as: Speed, Precision, and Personalization.
In today’s technological world, it is not surprising Speed was one of the three things. Everyone expects results quick. A 24-hour turnaround on responding to emails is no longer acceptable. Remember when bank loan approvals took up to two weeks for a decision? No longer. Now there are banks that will do it in an hour.
Precision is not a surprise either. If the product or the service is not exactly what the customer requested, then nothing else really matters. Precision means defining upfront very clearly what the customer is asking for and actively listening to ensure it will meet their needs. What you may find is that what the customer thinks they want is not exactly what they need, and this is where the Personalization can come in. Truly looking through the lens of the customer and listening to what they say, allows you to offer your expertise and advice to help them. By showing you care enough to fully understand their desired outcomes, you save them time and money from having to return for an error they made in the request. Personalization also surfaces in how you show the customer they are special and how important they are to you. Amazon does this by offering ideas of other books you might enjoy because they have taken the time to identify your likes and dislikes.
No matter what your business is, take a hard look to see how you rate in these three things. If you see room for opportunity, better not wait to improve. Excellent service is the differentiator in today’s world and your competition is not sleeping.

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