Customer service is the bread and butter of the business world. And yet, so often, we hear stories of businesses that failed to deliver, ultimately leading to their demise, or of work cultures that are stagnant and failing to meet customer expectations.
At the heart of success is one key ingredient; attention to detail.
I recognise there’s a fine balance; being detail-oriented can be time consuming and intricate, and our time and resources are not endless. But even the smallest shift in your approach can make large in-roads into what you can achieve.
As leaders and decision makers, how do we foster a culture of attention to detail in our businesses that grows our ability to keep our customers happy but doesn’t leave us exhausted?
See through your customer’s eyes
As a business, we recognise the importance of attention to detail, but without direction our efforts would be fruitless. So where do we get our direction and drive from? Simply put, from our customers.
For new clients especially, there is an element of risk if they’re choosing us or asking us to do something we’ve never done before. Will we deliver? Can they trust us? What happens if it’s not what they want?
We make a point of investing a lot to develop great relationships with our clients. We need to understand what their priorities are and how we can help them to meet those. Every year we send out a customer satisfaction survey to gather opinions and views on what we’re doing but also to find out what our customer’s need.
By using this information, we can refine our approach to customer satisfaction and which direction it needs to focus in. It’s an approach that works because it shows we’re paying attention to the smaller things, the details. And like any great relationship, that’s where your success lies.
When we get a request from a customer for something we’ve never done before, or a new market, we pay attention. It’s a sign that there’s potential for a new process or material, that there is an existing demand for it. Rather than creating something we think our customers want, we already know they want it and they feel rewarded that we’ve listened to them.
Our recent work with Nyetimber wines gave us the chance to put this approach to the test. Experimenting with materials, process, design and form allowed us to be detail-oriented with direction. Understanding what they needed, why they needed it and where we fitted into that meant that the end product was successful.
Stretch your boundaries
The great thing about good client relationships is that, when it comes to pushing your boundaries, the ease of communication and collaboration makes it smoother.
Our recent work on a license plate for the Jurassic Park film could have been an exhaustive task in attention to detail. But thanks to the strength of our relationship, we were able to take a complex task and deliver it to a tight deadline. Using screen grabs and similar license plates, we tested and communicated every step of the way to make sure that nothing was being overlooked.
The smallest efforts, like just picking up the phone, can have the biggest impact. If you’re committed to getting it right, you will make yourself invaluable to your clients.
While attention to detail might seem like one more exhaustive task to add to your overwhelmed day-to-day life, if you do it correctly it doesn’t have to be. And it could save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
Ultimately, we see a greater number of returning customers and recommendations because of our approach. Attention to detail puts quality at the forefront of your business mission. It’s taken Diametric five years to achieve JLRQ status but the accreditation symbolised for us what it means to go the extra mile.
This year, let’s all strive to pay attention to the little things. Business will be better because of it.