Driving Business Leadership through Customer Service
Though every Business or Organization wishes to be the market leader in its chosen niche segment, it doesnt happen that easily. There can be very few leaders who dominate the market for a long time. True there are companies that are successful for a little while and they disappear overnight. But then there are Organizations that are have grown to become corporate giants, Multi National players and continue to blaze as the product leaders.
It helps to study and understand as to what makes these Companies become leaders and grow their business. If you analyze more in detail you will find some special characteristics or factors that have been responsible for the growth of these Organizations. In most cases, the Organizations have chosen certain value proposition with reference to their product or service offering and pursued to specialize in the niche segment by excelling in providing the superior value consistently year after year. Global brands like Apple, Sony, IBM, Dell as well as corporate giants like GE, Xerox, Phillips as well as Wal-Mart and other retail leaders like Home Depot, Spencers etc have clearly worked towards their success with careful planning and implementation of their chosen value propositions.
While some companies have chosen to offer lowest price as the value proposition, there are those who offer wider variety and choice of products while somebody else has chosen to focus on product innovation etc.
Besides offering a particular value proposition to the customers, we also see some of these organizations embracing few value propositions like Customer service and Total solution as well as integrate services to differentiate their services and products in the market. A few use operational excellence and use of technology to create standardization in processes and increase efficiency.
Try to recall different organizations that have created and pursued Customer Service as their value proposition and differentiator. You can easily recall your credit card company, your bank, hospital or an airline or a logistics company. Brand leaders in all these sectors have excelled in endearing themselves to the customers through their focus and effort at establishing and growing relationship with their customers.
Take the case of your bank, in recent times you will see a drastic change in their approach towards their customers. They have upgraded their service as well as product offering by introducing mobile banking and internet banking option. Secondly banks have begun to provide an account manager who helps you with the right investment strategy and gives you the best solutions. The same concept has been perfected by logistics companies as well. Today logistics companies like DHL, FedEx, Panalpina, Ceva etc offer their customers integrated solutions. They assign in plant customer service executives to be based at the customer locations in order to ensure seamless co-ordination and excellent service.
If you go one step further to understand the working and approach of these organizations towards customer service, you will find that they have not only created a well defined structure in terms of Customer service managers and Account Managers, but these executives are empowered to provide solutions as well as take decisions as well. They do not merely provide lip service, but work backward to negotiate solutions with the management so that they are able to provide breakthrough solutions to their customers. Many Organizations structure the pay in a manner that the account managers earn their incentives and bonuses in line with the sales revenue growth with the particular customer.
For large and multinational and major accounts, these organizations provide fairly senior managers who are capable of interacting with the senior management at the customers end too. Depending upon the account size, there can be further customer service executives assigned as a team as per the requirement. Normally these major accounts managers will have a direct reporting into the marketing vice president or the senior management in the organization.
In many cases, Organizations have been able to design and offer customized new products and services to their major clients with the help of such dedicated customer service managers. Clearly customers get hooked to such solutions and over a period of time, forge meaningful partnership with the Organizations who grow on to become leaders in their field.
- The Making of Brand Leaders
- Leadership through Product Innovation
- Building an Ideal Brand
- Driving Value Proposition
- Driving Supply Chain Efficiency
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