What makes your company and your service stand out from the crowd? Do your customers rave about your business when speaking with friends and family? Are your customers thinking about the standards of excellence created by your business when they are engaged in experiences elsewhere?
To be remarkable is to be remarked upon — and hopefully in a positive way.
To be remarkable is to stand out from the pack — and to shine by comparison.
How does your organization compare to the following?
Your industry sets the baseline for customer expectations. Customer expectations for a fast food experience are far different than for a fine dining experience, and the bar for being remarkable is much lower (lower, does not mean easier to achieve, however).
No matter what the expectations set by your industry, you will be judged by the best performing competitor your customer has frequented. I noticed a new Windows/PC retail store is opening at a local mall. Setting aside product quality for a moment, for the Windows store concept to work, they will have to improve upon what Apple has done in their stores. Apple has created the expectation; Microsoft now has to exceed it.
Our organizations set their own expectations for repeat customers. What will you do to be remarkable on the 5th visit or the 9th purchase? We have to remember that we have created our own expectations in the past and while being remarkable does not mean upping the ante on every interaction, it does mean executing consistently and occasionally delivering extra-WOW moments that meet or exceed our past remarkable moments.
Are you remarkable compared to the rest of the world? What if the standards set by your industry and your competition are so bad that simply exceeding them slightly would still create a customer experience that is poor compared to, well, everything else.
If you are in the used car industry, would it be enough to just have a cleaner lot than the typical used car business or would you need to go further still to exceed the limits of your industry and make people want to come back? That is what CarMax did when they setup used car dealerships that got rid of haggling and looked like major auto dealerships.
The first step to being remarkable is knowing what you have to do to achieve it, and this entails knowing what your customers’ expectations are and where they come from. Your service and your customer experience should be dictated by understanding your customer — what they want and how they want to receive it.
However, we do not operate in a vacuum, and our customers do not live in one. You can spend forever and a day studying your customers and figuring out what you believe is the ultimate customer experience — and how will it serve you if the solution you devise is still below that of your most direct competitor?
To be remarkable, we must do that which is worth remarking upon. And to do that, we just have to do it better than everyone else.
Is your organization remarkable?
By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.