I am your customer: understand me, keep me happy, and surprise me!

While these companies represent different industries and have different business models, there are a few common themes that everyone agrees should be leveraged when handling end-customer operations:

1. Know Your Customer

Keeping tight partnerships with your key customers is crucial. But before you reach this level, you should know your customers and understand their needs, which includes their strategic initiatives and the role that your business plays in achieving key objectives. 

This is the measure of how relevant your business is to your client. We frequently observe businesses establishing offices close to their business partners. I truly believe that physical proximity is important as it fosters stronger connections. Investing time in building relationships not only brings you closer to your client’s business and enables you to better understand their needs, but it also may pay off in additional growth. The best outcome is to have your client partners recommend you to other clients.

2. The Digital Customer Experience

The voice of the end customer has never been so important, whether you are an industrial manufacturer, a freight carrier, or an insurer. Companies feel that they have to fit into a digital agenda and frequently need help and guidance on how to get there. Over the past few years, the industry has developed some best practices to deliver efficient processes that provide value to the business. However, one minor detail is often forgotten: how do our internal processes affect the end customer? To be able to answer this, businesses should ask themselves a few questions:

– Do we make the end user’s life easier or do we bother them with our internal processes?

– How do we motivate employees in terms of customer priorities?

– Are customer needs and customer service part of employee development plans?

– Are teams incentivized to deliver an outstanding customer experience?

This is the key difference of taking a truly client-centric approach. I always explain it as a combination of 1) motivated people focused on customer needs and understanding, 2) client-centric processes that keep the customers happy, and 3) technology to constantly surprise clients. If we prioritize the end-user experience, not only will we end up designing more efficient processes, but we will also please customers, employees, and partners.

This is the key difference of taking a truly client-centric approach. I always explain it as a combination of 1) motivated people focused on customer needs and understanding, 2) client-centric processes that keep the customers happy, and 3) technology to constantly surprise clients. If we prioritize the end-user experience, not only will we end up designing more efficient processes, but we will also please customers, employees, and partners.

We are all customers of one company or another. What is it that makes us want to buy from company X versus company Z? Taking this perspective may result in a better solution for your business. Look at your internal KPIs. As a customer, do I really care how many cases are handled per day or do I prefer to have my case solved? Businesses that focus on the average time per call and the number of calls handled per XYZ agents are not taking a customer view. This definitely does not add value to me as your end customer!

When considering long term, think innovation, think investment, and think like a startup. Investing in new solutions and people may help you win new businesses and transform your traditional business with new business lines. Working like a startup and promoting co-creation models with your business partners may result in more sustainable relationships and growth.

3. Let Your Customers Speak

What strikes me is that the voice of the customer does not necessarily come from the end customer. We often assume what is best for the end customer; however, we do not always understand the situation. Once we start measuring and truly “hearing” our customers, we may end up with a different outcome.

I frequently hear my business partners express concerns over new practices such as enabling self-service to end customers because they’re afraid that they may get more complaints or that the end customers won’t be interested in using such an option. Is it really the end customer who lacks interest? Businesses should not make such assumptions about the end customer (or even themselves), but rather take a different view. As a customer, I just might want to be able to check and track a delivery or be able to submit a claim online.

4. Take Care of ALL Your Customers

Sometimes, instead of focusing on “good” customers, business processes are built around pleasing the biggest complainers while neglecting the true revenue generators. It is not only about making the customers happy but also about truly understanding their (changing) business needs.

Alter your perspective: some customers may want personalized service but others may not want to be bothered. In the end, all customers want to get through the process as easily as possible, but the way we address their individual needs may require more personalized contact, self-service portals, automation, etc.

5. Resolve Complaints Quickly and With Style

The complaints process is a critical part of the value chain: the one process that should be streamlined and automated to the furthest extent possible. Tools like self-service portals, virtual agents,and FAQs should be your best friends! Maintaining manual and complicated processes not only extends the resolution time but also makes us focus on the wrong priorities. If you add the costs of the complaints resolution with the actual revenue loss on credits raised for fixing the defaults, you may end up wasting more energy ironing out defaults rather than building the perfect waste elimination process.

And if you are in a situation where you deliver a perfect order fulfillment, you may then conclude that your customer is always right! Why? Because the best complaint resolution process is NO COMPLAINTS!

As a customer, I want to have a great experience each time, every time, irrespective of the communication channel. I want to be able to follow up on my case anytime, anywhere!

customer service blog


Working with entrepreneurs has given me opportunities to speak to and lead others who are either trying to start their own business or trying to improve what they already have. I have a unique position to speak from. Yes, I have been successful, but at the same time, I have made plenty of mistakes. Over the years, I have learned that customer service is absolutely the most important part of any business. Recently, when I spoke with a Forbes contributor, I found myself coming back to the same words over and over again: 

“To over-deliver in service to a customer is by far the most valuable thing to a business. Because there are only two ways to improve the operations of a business: increase sales or decrease costs.”

And I still stand by what I said. You will find it very hard to decrease costs, but you can offer better customer service and that allows you to increase sales. If that’s not enough to convince you, though, here are five reasons why I firmly believe customer service is more important than anything else in your business.

1. The Best Customer Service Builds Trust

These days, people will only stay loyal to a company if they have very good reason to. Otherwise, there is plenty of competition available they could choose to move to. As a result, you have to work even harder to keep customers and build their trust in your brand. By providing the best in customer service, you will increase trust, and that could mean the difference between customer loyalty and customers who jump ship.

2. Customer Service Matters More Than Price

When studies and surveys have been completed, they continue to find that a large group of consumers say that customer service is much more important than price. To get the right experience, they are willing to pay more.

3. It Will Build Brand Awareness

If you don’t already know this, then it is time to learn. Word of mouth is the most powerful ally you have on your side. What your customers say to others could make or break your business. When you provide the best in customer service, guess what happens? People will talk about you. They will remember your brand. If they hear someone else talking that they need a specific kind of company, they are much more likely to say, “Oh, go to this place. They are great!”

4. Good Customer Service Reduces Problems

Problems are always going to arise for any business no matter how hard you try to avoid them. While you can’t run a perfect business with all the perfect customers, you can ensure friction doesn’t become an issue. If customers know that they can voice complaints and those issues will be handled properly, they will feel more comfortable doing business with you.

5. It Appeals to the Customer

Once upon a time, business was all about closing the sale. It didn’t matter how you got to that point. These days, you will need to cater to the New Customer. This is someone who expects to be treated as a person, who wants more from the experience, and who does not want to be just a number. Better customer service will ensure you are providing them what they want. When it comes to a business, nothing matters if you offer poor customer service. Keep these five things in mind so that you canunderstand just how important it really is for your own success. So, make sure you are offering the best in customer service, and enjoy the positive results.

safety is everybody's business

Effective workplace health and safety policies and procedures

It’s important, every now and then, to stop and look at the systems you have in place for managing health and safety in your workplace, and consider how you might improve them to create and safer, happier and more productive environment for your workers to come to every day.

Workplace health and safety policies and procedures are a huge part of this.

Policies are the documented principles, objectives, obligations and commitments that guide workplace health and safety decision-making within your business. They help you to manage legal risk and allow you to outline the benefits and opportunities provided by your company to its workers.

Not just those relating to workplace health and safety, but all policies underpin your health and safety management system by documenting the following things:

  • what is expected of your workers, Behaviour and performance standards;
  • rules and guidelines for decision-making in routine situations;
  • a consistent and clear response across the company in dealing with situations;
  • your good faith that workers will be treated fairly and equally;
  • an accepted method of dealing with complaints and misunderstandings to help avoid claims of bias and favouritism;
  • a clear framework for the delegation of decision-making;
  • a means of communicating information to new workers.

Workplace health and safety procedures are the documented processes that guide working practices in your business – these include specific procedures that set out step-by-step instructions for carrying out a job or task.

Health and safety policies and procedures are essential for your workplace because they:

  1. Demonstrate that your business is addressing its health and safety obligations.
  2. Show that your business is committed to working within a set of health and safety principles.
  3. Clarify functions and responsibilities in your business.
  4. Ensure that safe systems of work are recorded, communicated to workers and implemented in a consistent way throughout your business.
  5. Guide the future actions of workers in a formal way.
  6. Help your business to manage staff more effectively by defining acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in the workplace.
  7. Save time by allowing health and safety matters to be handled quickly through an existing procedure, rather than staff dealing with problems as they occur or responding differently each time the same issues arise.

Each of these advantages works towards improving your health and safety systems to create a culture where health and safety is a commitment made by your management and board. If you can do this, you will show your workers that their welfare is your priority – leading to a safety culture and more productive workers.

A Message from Tier One Lawncare

"As we continue to grow, each new day offers a chance for us to work together, pursue new opportunities and improve upon the past. We establish in-depth relationships with our clients by learning their needs, challenges and goals firsthand, so that we can offer tangible solutions with a candid perspective. We continue to manage our business around the evolving needs of our clients, so that we can be at the forefront of change and deliver value-because value is what our clients deserve."

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