The importance of exceptional customer service in today’s competitive business environment can not be overstated. Accelerating profits and transitioning a business from just average to phenomenal revolves around great customer service or as Lou Altman calls it ‘client care’.
“Most people call it customer services but what we find in this day and age is that neither actually applies. Most companies aren’t really focused on the customers and service consists of filling out something online and maybe getting back to you,” says Altman, the CEO of the Globafone satellite communications company who describes himself as an “unabashed customer service redeemer”.
“The reality is you have to do something different from everyone else. A customer is a transaction, a client is a relationship. Clients behave very similar to customers but not quite. They have different characteristics. As you think about who you want to serve and think about what it is you are selling then you can get a better feel of what you need to be doing,” says Altman, an international speaker and lead trainer presented at a Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation seminar.
“It all borders along communication and putting the client first. When I created my satellite communications company that was the mandate, that client comes first and profits second, completely backwards from what lot of enterprise organisations think. We are not a big company in the industry but we have clients that are loyal who have been with us 10-16 years. Our clients life cycle is three to for times the industry average which is about three years or less. Ours is about nine years,” says Altman.
“You can provide a border line level of customer service and do it at a cheaper rice. I prefer to offer outstanding customer experience and charge a slight premium, not what every one else charges, a bit above it but the value is so much more than what everyone else does. If you take care of the clients the money follows.Customer service is the most under appreciated,underpaid, underdeveloped, underutilized department in any company in the world.”