Today's post comes coutesy of Jason Tweed's publication "Private Duty Today" (www.privatedutytoday.com)which is a website and product of Leading Home Care (www.leadinghomecare.com). In addition to being an expert consultant in home care, Jason is also a recipient of care and has a lot of first hand knowledge about great vs. not-so-great caregives. Please enjoy.
The Fallacy of the Satisfied Customerby Jason Tweed
If your agency provides high quality caregivers, that's good.
If your company's caregivers are reliable and dependable, that's good.
If your employees are friendly and compassionate, that's good.
Unfortunately, if you do all of these things over 95% of the time, you are simply average in the minds of your customers.
When people contract for personal care they expect quality caregivers who are reliable and dependable. They expect that your employees will be compassionate and friendly. If you do all of these things consistently you will have lots of satisfied customers.
Satisfied customers cannot help you grow your business. Only enthusiastic customers help your business grow and establish customer service as a distinct competitive advantage in your marketplace.
We define "enthusiastic customers" as any individual who gets MORE than he or she expects during a customer service experience. The principal benefit of an enthusiastic customer is that they share the experience with others. Families talk with other people in their social groups. Referral sources recommend you to other potential referral sources. You are "liked, tweeted, recommended" and otherwise endorsed on social networks. Enthusiastic customers generate word-of-mouth marketing, the single most valuable and effective type of promotion.
I'm certain some of you disagree with me. I'm certain that there are many of you who have built solid businesses with consistent growth based on satisfied customers. Unfortunately, there are two problems with relying on satisfied customers.
- First, they help you keep pace with market growth. As the demand for home care increases, your business will grow. Unfortunately, many attribute this to satisfied customers, when in reality it's a function of supply and demand. With increasing competition, this historical growth is likely unsustainable.
- Second, satisfied customers are better than dissatisfied customers. When you provide satisfaction you will benefit from competitors who lose customers because of negative experiences. You depend on your competition to fail in order for you to grow. Again, with increasing competition and overall quality in the marketplace, becomes unsustainable.
To gain competitive advantage through customer service you must be able to deliver beyond expectation. There are two possibilities.
- Provide additional value -- add-on services and "beyond the call of duty" services generate enthusiasm.
- Handling problems and unique situations with exceptional skill.
When your company actively looks for ways to exceed customer expectations, you will win in the marketplace. Furthermore, you control your own destiny rather than depending on market demand and failures within your competition.
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