Some business professionals believe there is a secret to succeeding in business. They pore over books and articles that claim to know the key to business success in the hope of gaining some inside knowledge that will propel their business forward.
While there may be helpful tips out there that will help a business make successful decisions, the real key to sustainable, long-term business growth is to go beyond consumer expectations and create a service or product that exceeds industry standards.
It should be noted that the internet has created an environment of heightened competition for customer attention and loyalty across a wide spectrum of industries. As a result, consumer expectations of product and service excellence has also increased. Consumers now demand a superior product, paired with an efficient and responsive customer service experience.
So, how does a business do this?
According to customer service expert and speaker, Shep Hyken, businesses go above and beyond when they deliver an over-the-top, wow-type customer service experience or product.
“My definition of above and beyond is when a company is just a little above average, all of the time. That’s what the best companies do. As a result, they deliver beyond their customers’ expectations,” said Hyken.
The concept of going above and beyond isn’t merely a business tip — there’s research that supports it. In a 2013 report published in the Journal of Psychology, when waiters at a restaurant personally delivered extra mints alongside the check, their tip increased by 23 percent.
This makes perfect sense to Neil Patel, marketer and co-founder of KISSmetrics. Patel believes businesses that make their customers ‘feel special’ are the ones that will stand the test of time.
“Putting your customers first will help you increase your revenue in the long run,” said Patel.
The same can be said when it comes to surpassing retail consumer expectations .
Whether one owns a multinational retail company or a small retail business, being customer-centric and offering a stellar product will help build a loyal customer base. Case in point, Canadian watch designer, manufacturer and exporter, David Weiss, built a successful watch business in part through striving to exceed industry standards.
The watches designed and exported by Weiss in many ways became synonymous with quality and affordability, which in turn helped him get his designs in many of the most notable retailers in both Canada and the United States.
“When I started making timepieces in the early 1990s, the industry standards were to insert a battery with a 2-year lifespan,” explains Toronto’s David Weiss. “So, I made sure that all my watches came with a battery that had a 3-5 year lifespan. It’s just one way that I strategically tried to give my customers something more than what the industry was offering at the time.”
With his business based in Toronto, David Weiss also exceeded standards in the materials he chose to use in his watch designs.
“The expectation was that watches at a lower cost point were made of cheaper alloy materials. On the other hand, I would make sure that my watches were primarily stainless steel,” he added.
The customer of today chooses to do business with a company for a variety of reasons. Price, location, service all play a part in helping customers make this decision. However, retaining customers and creating a loyal base is only achieved through making the customer feel valued and appreciated and offering a product that is of the highest quality.