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The Power Of Service Objectives- A Strategy For Differentiation

Making your business different than your competitors in ways that are important to your target market is a strategy that is available to every business regardless of size, industry or resources. The first step is to find out from your best customers why they think you are different (and presumably better.) If you are just starting, then talk with your target market and find out from them what differences they look for in the companies they want to work with. Look for no more than 5 “service objectives” between your business and your customers that they say are important to them and adopt them as your core deliverables. They become the expectations you set with every customer as you bring them aboard and keep them. Once you have settled on the service objectives, get everyone in your company who has a piece of the company’s ability to meet each of those objectives on to a team that will design the internal processes to meet them on a regular basis. You are asking people who do the work to design the work. They have to establish the internal service objectives document the processes and the reporting mechanisms so you can track on-going performance. As you saw in last week’s blog, there should be procedures for dealing with the exceptions that happen so they can be dealt with swiftly. You can’t be perfect, but you can be better than your competitors in communicating the expectations through service objectives and then fixing the mistakes faster than anyone. As for documenting the procedures and keeping them alive, see this blog that talks about internal Wikis. To get great guidance in establishing and delivering quality service and products, find and study Quality is Free by Philip Crosby. It may be hard to find, but is well worth the effort to get it.