In any commoditised, competitive industry you have to start with differentiation. You could be the cheapest, the coolest or the best – it depends how you position yourself to your clients. As I sit here tapping away at my MacBook, with books beside me from Amazon I am a dedicated follower of two of the most memorable customer service brands in commerce today who have positioned themselves really well.
And it’s not because they are cheap. It’s because they are cool, great to use, convenient and have become essential to my business. I am a dedicated and loyal customer.
At Diamond we wanted to do the same and build our own profitable, loyal followers – the key building a steady and sustainable business. And we’ve doubled turnover in the last year so it seems to be working!
Here are the Diamond Top 5 Tips that you could use in your business:
- Contactability – be very easy to get hold of. Local telephone numbers, local service centres, staffed by dedicated Diamond staff 24/7 who really care about their clients means our customer experience is personal. And that builds loyalty.
- Identity – look, act and behave differently. We define our core mission as Shared Success – building mutually beneficial partnerships. Create your own strong identity, brand guidelines and ethics – and then made sure they run through the business like the writing on a stick of rock. Don’t be afraid to be different. Different is good!
- Make feedback easy. Survey clients, ask for feedback, and encourage interaction on all platforms – even if sometimes that means getting involved in complaints. Mistakes will happen, but those mistakes can be welcomed as a way of further differentiating our service from the competition. Try to respond in a generous and repentant manner and it can, conversely, win greater client loyalty.
- Stay in touch in lots of different ways. Send postcards, email service updates, make client care calls, send hard copy newsletters, and keep your brand at the forefront of your clients’ minds. They may not need you every day but when they do make sure you are the first company they think of. Talk to people – it’s amazing how many companies don’t speak to their clients anymore. People like people so do what people do – pick up the phone, talk, interact, build relationships.
- Be easy to use. Build your business into the very fabric of their existence by making using you easy. I order from Amazon with One Click on my phone, my life is organized on my Apple products and at Diamond we integrate with our clients operations in a manner which transforms their dispatch departments. So much so that people don’t know how they survived without us. We do it via an online booking and tracking programme, which integrates ten different carriers on one, slick platform. Once we are working with a business we retain them for years, which is a great stable platform for them to build their businesses on – and great for us to build ours on too. It’s win win.
It seems to be working for us – in our commoditised industry where the top performers achieved growth of 5% last year (Source: UK Parcel and Carrier Report 2015) here at Diamond we grew by 89% and that rate is accelerating so I guess we are doing something right!
So, if you want to increase client retention, build sustainable revenues and increase your profits – just like Amazon and Apple – then the above might be a good place to start. Best of luck!