If you're serious about your future success and the growth of your business, you have to focus just as much on service as on sales. Here are a few companies boosting growth by investing in customer delight to help inspire you to greatness:
An airline might seem like the last company you'd expect to be focusing on the customer experience, but JetBlue proves that it's the way you handle those concerns that'll make or break you. The company has a strong social-media focus in its customer-service plan, making it a priority to respond not only to customers who mention the company in their tweets, but also those who mention the airline in general. This allows them to respond to all feedback before it becomes a major issue.
Customer service is just as important in tech companies as it is in face-to-face businesses. Rackspace is another example of a company that has won multiple awards for its excellent customer service. To start, the company trains every employee it hires to put customers first from day one, typically by conducting role-playing exercises ahead of time to improve customer assistance before issues arise. This customer-centric culture is known as "Fanatical Support" both inside and outside the company.
Founders Michael Landau and Alli Webb were horrified at how bad customer service had become in retail establishments in general. As a result, they focused on hiring friendly and caring stylists and staff, going so far as to specifically avoid hiring "divas," who, despite their skills, bring a toxic attitude to the workplace. The Drybar customer experience is carefully planned to allow clients to feel like they're the stars in their own movies. For 45 minutes, customers relax and get pampered, drinking a cocktail as their hair is styled.
As larger, low-margin stores push many small-scale retailers out of business, Ace Hardware has remained strong. The reason, its leaders say, is that employees are trained to not just be nice, but helpful. Staff go through extensive training not just about the products and services sold in stores, but also about types of customers they'll encounter and how to help each one.
One of the best ways to invest in customer delight is to take great care of your employees -- a fact that's not lost on Southwest Airlines. The company not only gets named as having the best customer service in the airline industry, but also as being one of the best places to work. The great employee benefits and fun employee activities boost morale, which translates to great customer service.
The really incredible thing about so many of the examples highlighted above is that they're incredibly inexpensive to implement. If you're looking to boost growth in your company, invest in delighting customers -- you'll save on marketing while also lifting your bottom line.
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