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AMiable Solution #347: The Case for Service Guarantees

Consumers regularly encounter guarantees for products. But service guarantees appear less frequently. Should your company offer one?

Even if you sell products, not services, your company could benefit from a service (think customer service) guarantee.

Why are service guarantees important? For starters, guarantees…

· Give prospects confidence in their decision to choose you

· Eliminate risk to buyers

· Assure clients that the companies they choose take their reputation, their products, their services, and their customers seriously

· Tell customers that their satisfaction means something to someone

But guarantees don’t just benefit customers. In his article, The Power of Unconditional Service Guarantees, Christopher Hart, a professor and management consultant, identified five key reasons why companies should offer service guarantees:

· They force the entire company to focus on the customers’ idea of good service.

· They set clear performance goals.

· They create reliable data when performance is poor.

· They require companies to look at their entire system for potential problem areas.

· They build customer loyalty.

How do you know if your company is prepared to offer a service guarantee or if the one you offer is good enough to attract and convert buyers?

First, check your intentions. If your goal is to use your guarantee as a marketing tool only, your guarantee will fail. You must start with a desire and a commitment to providing the best service possible to your customers. As such, you must be willing to make a promise you can live up to and live with, should you get called out on it.

Second, know your strengths and weaknesses. If you have a known problem area, fix it. If you’re not sure if all the elements in your system and processes are up to snuff, investigate. You need to have confidence in the quality and consistency of your services.

Finally, employ good people and train them well. You’ll never field an office of people who never make mistakes, but you can hire qualified people who share your company’s values, who are committed to working out problems, and who work well with and for customers.

If you offer a great service and support it—and your customers—with great employees, your market will reward you. We guarantee it.

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