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Business development benefits from courting customer service stars

Looking for new business contracts? Consider courting companies that are customer service stars. If a company scores high on customer service, it follows that they may also be committed to providing a high-quality product or service, and treating all their stakeholders well. Stakeholders include suppliers/vendors, partners, and employees. It improves the odds of working with a top-flight company that will treat you fairly and respect your contribution.

Mark Lusky

When looking for the best new business fit, focus at least in part on companies prioritizing good customer service. In this case, customer service includes all “customers,” both external and internal—vendors/suppliers, employees, customers/clients, strategic/referral partners, et al.

Chances are that top-flight customer service also will carry through to product or service quality. Companies that treat their employees, vendors and other vital human capital like gold are much more likely to get golden performance, productivity and follow-through in return.

That typically adds up to the kind of company you can work with near-term, and in many cases establish a mutually beneficial relationship down the road.

How can you find prospects using a customer service-centric process? Here are several avenues that merit consideration:

Conduct online searches for articles highlighting or profiling customer service stars.

These articles can target awards and accolades given to companies that have demonstrated high customer service integrity. In some cases, articles focus on customer service trends and tips, calling out the best performers in the process. Another possibility is to look for social/mainstream media stories and forums around specific events or activities. For example, National Customer Service Week 2021 is October 4-8. Given this annual celebration, consider checking out companies spotlighted over past Customer Service Weeks as well as marking this year’s celebration on your calendar.

There are other celebrations past and future to check out as well. For example, Customer Service Week also is being promoted through the Customer Service Group. Additional searches can yield more possibilities.

Check out company customer service reviews.

This can be tricky to ensure you’re getting legitimate, accurate information. One way to help accomplish this is to check reviews of specific companies on a variety of sites and platforms. Identify consistent trends and threads across multiple searches that either support or call into question a company’s customer service performance. Look for seemingly objective sites versus ones that are overly biased for or against a particular organization.

While not totally discounting reviews on a company’s own website, use a critical eye. Increasingly, companies are hiring reputation management firms that help generate and curate reviews. In many cases, only the four-and-five-star responses are included in the reviews. So, if you see nothing but four or five stars when looking for customer service performance, check other sources to see what’s showing up—then make your best informed decision.

Check out company evaluations from established authorities.

For example, Bain & Company offers The Net Promoter System™. According to their website, the system “requires every level of the organization be rigorously, consistently focused on the quality of customer and employee relationships first. Installing the Net Promoter System requires a strategic commitment by company leadership, because it defines cultural values and core economics that affect every part of the business system.”

The resulting Net Promoter Score® provides insightful information about a company’s inner workings and its customer service commitment.

For an easy look into how employees view their employers, take a look at such platforms as Glassdoor. Again, be careful. Sometimes companies use subtle (or not so subtle) coercion to get employees to provide a undeserved high rating.

Do some investigative reporting across a variety of platforms and reporting systems. Connect the dots. It will provide insights about customer service stars out there.

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Mark Lusky
mark@marklusky.com

Mark Lusky (aka The Happy Curmudgeon)
is the owner of a Denver-based marketing communications firm. He’s a veteran writer, storyteller and author, with 40+ years of public relations, advertising, marketing and journalism experience, and author of A Wandering Wondering Jew… and co-author of Don’t Get Mad, Get Leverage.

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