Wouldn’t you like all of your customers to say this?
“They have the best customer service. They go above and beyond.”
In just the last week I’ve heard four completely unrelated people talk about the “above and beyond” experiences they received from people they did business with.
What is going above and beyond? I asked around and the answers were generally the same. Most of the people said that it was when a company delivered an over-the-top WOW level customer service experience.
Well, my definition is a little different. I’ve written about this before, but it is worth repeating and emphasizing. A company that goes above and beyond cannot always create the WOW level experience. The reason is because it is usually isolated to solving a customer’s problem or dilemma, sometimes even a complaint. These are typically isolated incidents that don’t happen over and over again. I applaud the companies that deliver in the face of a problem or confrontation. But here is where I take issue.
Let’s take an average company. I emphasize the word average because that is what most companies are. They deliver an average experience. Even if the company is good at handling the problems, the rest of the time they are average. Assuming that not every customer has a problem, and I’m willing to wager that most customers don’t have problems, then that means most customers doing business with that company experience average customer service.
My definition of above and beyond is when the company is just a little above average, all of the time. That’s what the best companies do. As a result, they deliver beyond their customers’ expectations. That’s because most of their customers experience average at other places they do business. And I want to emphasize that it happens all of the time. That’s what truly makes the difference.
When you are above average and there is problem or confrontation, then you step the customer service up to take care of the customer. The result is a loyal customer who says, “They are an amazing company to do business with. And once in a while, when I have a problem, they really take great care of me. I can count on them.”
Your customers may not use those exact words, but that is what you want them to be thinking. Anything less probably qualifies as just average. Just be consistently better than average and your customers will do more than think of you as going above and beyond. They will think of you as AMAZING!
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314)692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXIV, Shep Hyken)