Years ago I read an article in the United Airlines Hemispheres Magazine. This was written before the year 2000. The article discussed success in the future of business and had an interview of a group of Japanese businessmen and also a group of Americans. I recall my business classes in the late 1980's discussing how the Japanese businesses had created an advantage by their innovative customer service and superior quality products. The question at hand was how to succeed in the new millennium in business.
First the American Business group answered and I was pleased with their response. They stated that for them to be truly successful they would need to understand their client's expectations and work to exceed these expectations in both quality and service. They would need to provide truly exceptional service and produce quality products and offer quality services in order to succeed in the next millennium. As I am reading the article I was nodding my head and thinking that it is about time!
The response from the Japanese group was as humbling as it was obvious. They stated that they felt that great service was important, and as a matter of fact it was so important that it had become a requirement. It was merely an invitation to compete. They could no longer differentiate their company by providing great service and as a matter of fact they would not be able to stay in business without providing great service. They were aware that the world is changing and their success would be tied to their ability to be nimble and change in reaction to this changing environment.
The target had moved and the Japanese group knew it. The nice thing is that over the past ten years you can see that the American businesses have figured this out and being nimble and capable of change is essential in today's environment. Information is coming faster than ever and being able to sift through this and make command decisions is essential.
Let's bring this discussion full circle. I believe that in today's business world great quality and great customer service are not differentiators, they are simply an invitation to compete. Your systems and process need to be set so that service and quality work occur all the time and on every project. When great service becomes part of your company culture then you can start to focus on the second level of your business which will then become the differentiators of tomorrow.
Contact Business Mentors in learn how we can assist in creating a customer of service in your business.