Competing on Service: Eleven Ways to Beat the Competition by ‘Hugging’ Your Customers

The U.S. economy is still in a deep funk, and for many small business owners that means business isn’t exactly booming. Forced to do more with much less, the small businesses that have managed to survive and even thrive during these tough times have recognized one important factor: You can’t always compete on price, but you can compete on service. And the best thing about great customer service is that providing it doesn’t cost you an extra penny.

When your competition is scrounging for customers, you have to hold yours close, and that starts with great customer service.

Today’s small business owners need to understand that cutting costs will not save their business. Remember, customers are concerned about their own financial security. When they walk into a business, they need to feel cherished and special. They need to be ‘hugged’ by great customer service. Customers don’t expect to get bottom-of-the-barrel prices everywhere they go, but they do expect to be treated with respect.

Great customer service doesn’t just happen. It starts with employees who have been trained in the science of service.

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About the Author

Edward D. Hess is author of Growing an Entrepreneurial Business: Concepts & Cases and is a professor of business administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia. He is the author of nine books, over 60 cases, and over 60 articles. His work has appeared in over 200 media outlets around the world including CNBC, Fox Business News, Dow Jones Radio, WSJ Radio, MSNBC Radio, NPR, Forbes, Bloomberg, BusinessWeek, CFO magazine, Financial Executive, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Big Think, the Washington Post, and Financial Times. His book Smart Growth: Building an Enduring Business by Managing the Risks of Growth was named a 2010 Top 25 Business Book for Business Owners by Inc. magazine.

1 reply
  1. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    excellent advice for everyone to use, including salespeople. Sometimes we forget it is all about great customer service and it is about setting boundaries for ourselves


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