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Tim Millett
Published by Tim Millett
08 October 2013

Focusing on not just pleasing but also delighting the customer and offering an exceptional service and experience with your organisation can outwardly seem to defeat its ultimate purpose — to generate as much profit as possible. However, ‘outside-in innovation’, better understood as delighting the customer, is vitally important to your business achieving success and profitability. In light of this, it is critical to promote a culture of learning at your business where staff are constantly encouraged and supported to improve the service provided to customers.

The conundrum for many business owners is that outside-in motivation will increase customer costs and reduce profitability. However, savvy and successful business owners realise that outstanding customer service training and the highest quality sales training provides staff with skills, experience and confidence to more effectively serve and impress customers and increase sales.

Think profitability

When customers are not only impressed but also delighted by the service they experience, a business should not expect their profits to increase by a little; profits should increase by a lot. A culture of learning — with a focus on customer service training — is one of the pivotal enablers for a business to make huge profits. When customers receive exceptional service, they buy and the business makes more money.

Internationally renowned and respected organisations that have assumed an unwavering commitment to the customer, such as Apple and Amazon, have achieved success at levels to which so many businesses aspire. Because they focus on the customer and their experience in every interaction with the company, these companies enjoy astounding profits and customer loyalty.

Why does customer delight translate to profitability?

Outside-in innovation is proven to be markedly more profitable than traditional management and traditional business approaches. Prices and costs are affected:

Prices: When a business successfully delights its customers, higher profit margins result. In part, this is because customers feel that they ‘have to have’ what the business offers and love its products and services so much that they are willing to wait and pay extra for them. This is completely evident in the popularity and demand for Apple products such as the iPod and iPhone.

Costs: Exceptional customer service, created through a culture of learning at your business, can also result in decreased costs. Very often, the businesses that overwhelmingly impress their customers offer and achieve fast work turn-around times. This marks a distinct change from traditional bureaucracies where obstacles and work jams are frequently encountered as work waits in queues and is channelled from department to department.

While the intention may be to cut back on costs, the value experienced by customers is naturally decreased.

Free marketing

Consider this: when a business genuinely delights its customers, it typically enjoys the benefits of its satisfied customers recommending and sharing their enviable experiences with family, friends and colleagues. The business tends to enjoy an influx of customers voluntarily coming to it and is thereby able to reduce advertising, marketing and promotional costs, as well as avoid spending time and money managing upset customers and responding to unfavourable social media.

A culture of learning

Exceptional customer service is not an end in itself. In contrast, staff at all levels benefit from ongoing quality customer service training and the genuine commitment of the organisation to putting the customer first.

When a strong culture of learning is present and valued by your organisation this will almost immediately translate to an enhanced experience for customers interacting with your business. Ultimately, this results in increased profits, strong customer loyalty and their recommendation of your business to others — three ends to which all business aspire.

When a business is serious and earnest about delighting the customer, desirable outcomes are experienced. Far from being an unnecessary cost to your business, investment in customer service is profitable and enables considerably more profit to be generated.

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