By Curt Fowler
Excellence: the fact or state of excelling; superiority; eminence.
There is a lot of talk about excellence in the marketplace today, but how many people have stopped to think about what it means to be excellent. According to the definition above, it is the state of excelling, superiority or eminence.
It means you are the best at what you do. Being the best is difficult, staying the best in today’s competitive marketplace can seem impossible. Staying superior is never ending journey.
To have enduring excellence, you must outperform your competition every day.
Why does your competition want your spot? They want it because the leader in any industry or segment will always have outsized margins and returns. Why do you think Jack Welch only wanted to stay in industries where General Electric could be #1 or #2? That is where all the profit is!
Now that we’ve defined excellence, let’s define Customer Excellence? Customer Excellence means you are the best at making your customers extremely happy about working with you. It means your customers love you more than anyone else in your industry. Your customers seek you out and tell their friends about you. In their eyes, you are the best.
Let’s take a look at the airline industry. It’s not a loved industry and it is horribly unprofitable. But there is one shining light in the airline industry – Southwest Airlines. Southwest has been profitable for the last 41 years of its 43-year history. How does Southwest do it? I wrote a detailed answer to that question in another blog, but delivering excellent customer service is a key driver of their success.
To help you see the difference between Southwest and their competitors check out the chart below.
This chart shows the Net Promoter Scores for the major US airlines. We’ll dive deeper into NPS in future blogs, but the survey asks customers how likely they are to recommend this product or service to your friends and colleagues. It is a great single score on how engaged and satisfied your customers are with your brand.
Back to the chart. Southwest NPS is almost 3X greater than their closest major airline competitor (Delta). That kind of customer excellence transfers into outstanding financial results for Southwest.
How does your Net Promoter Score compare to your competitors? Do you not use NPS? Don’t worry, we’ll teach you how in future blogs.
Next week we’ll dive deeper into the return on investment of customer excellence. Customer excellence is not easy, nor cheap, but the returns on your investment are fantastic.
Are you ready to start delivering more value for your customers?
Get started with free tools from our Resource Page or give us a call at 229.244.1559. We would love to help you.
Curt Fowler is President of Fowler & Company(http://valuesdrivenresults.com/) and Director at Fowler, Holley, Rambo & Stalvey (http://valdostacpa.com/). He is dedicated to helping leaders create and achieve a compelling vision for their organizations. Curt is a syndicated business writer and keynote speaker. He has an MBA in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the Kellogg School, is a CPA, and a pretty good guy as defined by his wife and four children.
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