Currently, the business was going through a difficult period in the middle of a crisis due to shrinking demand. This is due to pressing public expenditures. Thus, the tight competition between businesses. One solution in winning competitiveness is through superior service differentiation.
Must quality of a product, it’s just that, without a service winner, then the potential to leave long-term customers. Differentiation going superior service to strengthen the positioning of a brand in the eyes of its customers, giving customers a memorable experience, and can increase customer loyalty in the long run.
Then, how you can create a superior service differentiation? Here are some important steps and points of each example:
Understanding Customer Needs
To understand the needs of customers, then you should learn as much customer insight and deep as possible. To gain customer insight and become customer-oriented, you can not only rely on mere market research, but should be through direct interaction with customers, whether they directly visit, hold brainstorming and Focus Group Discussion to store / office visit.
An example is AG Lafley, the former CEO of Procter & Gamble, which along with other senior executives to do home visit and visit store after finding the fact that their product managers spend only about 3% to interact with consumers. Something similar is also done by Terry Leahy, CEO Tesco, who spent two days a week to interact with customers and employees in his shop.
Superior Value Proposition
Furthermore, once you understand the customer insight, and then create a superior value proposition. A superior value proposition is to answer the problems and needs of the customer. In the midst of the current crisis, you must continue to evaluate the value proposition, because the environmental conditions both internal and external change rapidly, so you should always be responsive to these changes.
To create a value proposition is still superior in the middle of a crisis, then you can take one of the following options:
• lower prices, like the Wal-Mart
• carry out promotional strategies such as bundling or selling products in bulk
• reduce prices, but reduce some of the features that are not significant
• offer more benefits to the current price level, so that customers get better value with a fixed price. Examples like the Amazon Prime membership, where customers can buy a book with cheaper shipping costs.
Value proposition must be so unique and can attract customers. Hyundai, GM and Ford are some of the value proposition to run a fairly radical. Hyundai programs, allowing purchasers to return the vehicle he had bought (money back) if the buyer can not pay off due to layoffs or other obstacles. Meanwhile, GM and Ford dare to cover the installment payments if the customer’s customers affected by layoffs.
To create a superior service, then you need people who are customer-oriented. Therefore, it is recruiting people who have the people skills advantage. Those who have qualified people skills will be able to interact well with customers, and able to deliver the expected customer experience. More importantly, those people equipped with skills will be able to focus on customer needs, and willing to listen to feedback and criticism from customers.
Great Recovery Plan
Each service must not escape from errors or deficiencies, which can ultimately reduce the value of the customer experience. To overcome this, then you need a good recovery plan.
Make sure that you have a good recovery plan for bad possibilities of what happened. Things that often happens is the parties who provide services just are not prepared if something goes wrong in the service, so that there is a complaint not responded, so that the customer was disappointed, and then fled.
One alternative that you can do is to give employees a policy that frees you to provide recovery has a strong effect in restoring and satisfying for customers. This is the importance of having employees with customer-oriented.
An example is the experience of a Northwest Airlines pilot who handle flight delays due to aircraft mechanical problems. These problems require passengers to move to another plane, and waiting for the preparation of the aircraft such as the food supply for 30 minutes. This is certainly causing upset and angry passengers. So the pilot took the decision quickly to fly with no food on the plane, and he told the passengers about the decision. To replace the unavailability of food, so he replaced it with a free drink coupon. The result, the plane is only 20 minutes late from the schedule, and no one complained because the lack of food.
So are four important points that must be present if you want to provide a superior service differentiation. Without a superior service, then you just bring a normal service, not special and will not be ogled by the customer. Therefore, make sure that you have superior service differentiation and won the competition in the middle of a crisis