Who is the Gold Standard

We know how good customer service is done—it’s what we experience with luxury brands like Nordstrom, Zappos, and Ritz-Carlton. They go out of their way, anticipate needs, spend extra on their customers. Why? They know it pays off: Businesses that deliver better customer experiences obtain revenues between 4% and 8% above their market. (Bain & Company).

With these brands leading the way, many up and coming businesses are jumping on the customer service train, finding unique ways to provide an exceptional customer experience. 

Some Small Business Wins 

There’s Ipsy, a subscription-based makeup service delivering a custom Glam Bag of five products each month. Even though the entire interaction is online, Ipsy keeps it personal by using a fun quiz to gather information on customer preferences and ships individual boxes from there. The experience is easy and rewarding. In a competitive market like cosmetics, this is exactly how you shine.

Another key to keeping customers happy is a no-hassle return policy. DAVID’s TEA prides itself on free and easy returns. This makes for a low-risk purchase and shows that the company stands behind its products. 

Thrivent Financial sets its brand apart with a commitment to customer service. This is achieved through educational materials that support their products and a phone system that allows users to connect with a person—something that is hard to come by in today’s automated world.

In all of these examples, customer focus is a proactive stance, not a reactive one. Part of being a customer-focused employee involves foreseeing obstacles and creatively mitigating those to enhance the customer’s perception of their experience. This begins with a company that empowers its employees to take charge and make case-by-case decisions for a personal experience. 

Being Customer Focused 

For companies relying heavily on technology—not people—to handle these interactions, this is the time to test customer experience, get creative in problem-solving and build personal experiences that will create loyalty. It costs much less to maintain a customer than to get a new one—and without customers, there is no company.

In today’s competitive environment, leaders need to establish a culture of customer personalization and genuine care. That takes really getting to know who they are, their pain points and their goals. Being customer focused isn’t something a company does, it is who you are. It’s the leader’s responsibility to create a vision, incentivize and reward the right behaviors, and inspire a commitment to the customer!


Worldwide Copyright TJ Associates, LLC DBA Blueprint Leadership Diane Kucala, March 2019