Since the way you treat your customers will ultimately make or break your business, you need a strategy to keep your business “customer-focused” before, during and after every sale. This is your “people” (or customer service) strategy. Simply put, it's all of the things you do for your customers they don't directly pay for (if they pay for it, it's part of your product strategy). The result is added value for the customer and increased customer loyalty for you.
Your “people strategy” helps you keep your customer relations in line with your “market position” by answering the question, “How should we treat our customers?” Following are four areas for you to consider.
1. Your Employees' Behaviour — This is the way your employees interact with your customers. It typically has the most direct effect on their experience with your business.
How should your employees' behaviour reflect your Market Position?
2. Educational Services — This is any training, instruction, or educational material you offer your customers, free of charge. Software designers, for example, might hold complimentary tutorials on using their products.
How should your educational services reflect your Market Position?
Jack Hendrix was known to his customers and peers as “Cadillac Jack.” He was one of the most successful Cadillac salespeople in the United States. As part of his “people strategy,” he puts a red rose on the dash of every new Cadillac he sold, and every time one of his customers brought their car in for servicing, he had it washed before they got it back.
3. Financial Services — This is any financial assistance you offer above and beyond your “pricing strategy,” to help your customers buy your products or services more easily. Examples include layaway plans, credit lines, deferred payment options, etc.
How should your financial services reflect your Market Position?
Based on your answers to the above questions, write your “people strategy” in the space below. What types of customer service would be in line with your Marketing Position?
In this chapter you should have designed, shared, and made a plan to review your:
- Best sources of current information for your industry.
- Industry Trends system.
- Market Position.
- Branding Strategy.
- Unique Selling Proposition.
- Corporate image from your customer's perspective.
- Company guarantee (if applicable).
- Updated your code of conduct.
- Customer service policy.
- Cause your company can support.
- Pricing Strategy.
- Product Strategy.
- Place Strategy.
- Promotional Strategy.
- People Strategy.