Your business has a customer base that is loyal and highly satisfied, and maybe you’re wondering: how can I take it one step further?
The answer may lie in going above and beyond the services your company already provides and delivering on requests outside of your business’s scope.
If you provide additional services or products, you’ll have the opportunity to create an even greater level of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Not only will your customers appreciate your effort, they’ll also be more likely to stay with your business for longer.
The Power of Going Above and Beyond
It’s no secret that customers like good service, going the extra mile these days though is a rarer quality. Fulfilling requests that fall out of the scope of your business shows customers you care about their satisfaction. This can pay off in terms of loyalty and positive word-of-mouth promotion.
It doesn’t have to be costly or complicated. It could mean taking an extra minute to answer questions or keeping staff well-trained on current services. In other cases, it might mean more resources for research and development.
Going above and beyond can bring plenty of benefits: improved customer loyalty and better reviews online — all while giving back something special.
Examples of Requests Outside of Business Scope
Sometimes customers make requests outside of a company’s business scope yet require extra attention and effort to try and satisfy.
To better understand how to deal with such requests, let’s take a look at three common examples alongside some potential solutions:
1. Requests That Require Non-Standard Resources
Requests that require access to rare or specialized resources may take time to fulfill. When faced with such requests, it helps assess the customer’s needs, determine if feasible alternatives are available in the short term, and provide clear communication about the availability of non-standard resources.
For example, if a customer is looking for a unique piece of hardware that can only be sourced from abroad, offer them a list of viable options and an estimated delivery lead time.
If the delivery time doesn’t match their expectations, explore alternatives for them and work together with the customer to meet their requirements in a mutually acceptable way.
2. Requests That Are Time Sensitive Or Require Quick Turnaround Times
Sometimes customers need quick answers or solutions to their problems – often within days or hours. When put on the spot like this, companies must assess the urgency of the request and evaluate whether they have sufficient resources available to meet these tight deadlines without compromising quality.
It’s easy to bat away requests from customers who don’t fit into the business’s normal turnaround times, however sometimes making an exception creates a lifetime customer.
Some of our clients are university students who need notes quickly in order to prepare for upcoming exams or to finalize a thesis paper.
As to be expected, sometimes requests come in from well meaning students who really need the help. By helping them out, their satisfaction and appreciation is so high, that naturally referrals spread throughout their academic institution and go beyond students.
We have even received word of mouth referrals into market researchers and psychology professionals from students we helped in the past.
When dealing with such scenarios, go beyond simply turning down rush requests outright. Instead, focus on understanding what needs completing quickly, and clearly communicate your availability and any limitations. This way the customer knows what they’re getting into right away.
3. Requests With Unusual Parameters Or Requirements
Sometimes customers come up with unique demands which don’t fit into existing frameworks or procedures – these could include anything from unorthodox materials for printing jobs to customized software features tailored for specific use cases.
In today’s environment, a common example we run into is data and security compliance. Many of our clients over time have requirements that are updated – for us specifically this involves law enforcement which has been responding to more cyber security concerns which has led to a need for CJIS compliance.
By exploring and understanding these requirements, our business has been able to respond and actually deepen our expertise and ability to serve these customers and the public safety industry.
In such instances, it helps to ask clarifying questions until you have all the information needed up front before assessing if you can deliver based on budget and timelines constraints set by either party involved.
When and How To Decide When It’s Time to Overdeliver
Deciding when it’s time to go above and beyond for a customer can be difficult. Factors like the customer’s relationship with the company, the type of request, and the resources required should all be considered.
Specific requests are more likely than others to warrant extra effort from your company, such as those requiring extensive research or setting a precedent for future customers.
Once you decide to provide over-the-top service, create clear guidelines and expectations regarding what constitutes “going above and beyond.”
Equip employees with the necessary tools and resources to deliver over-the-top service. Then assess the customer impact by gathering feedback after the services have been delivered.
Going above and beyond doesn’t have to mean investing extra resources – sometimes, taking those few additional minutes with each customer interaction is enough.
Carefully considering when and how to use overdelivering as part of your customer service strategy will ensure that every interaction has maximum impact while protecting your bottom line.
Challenges to Overcome When Delivering Outside Your Business’s Scope
Delivering services outside of your business’s scope can take time and effort. Considerations such as assessing the risk of taking on a new request, balancing customer needs with internal business constraints, and managing customers requesting more than they’ve paid for should be considered.
It’s important to assess any hidden costs or risks before jumping in. Ensure that the expected level of service is clearly communicated to the customer and set boundaries when managing extra requests. Proper planning ahead can help you avoid surprises and unexpected expenses.
Early in our business, we learned that those in the legal industry needed transcriptions that are US citizens and had passed criminal background checks. Before promising this, our team investigated and wanted to understand the resources needed.
Ultimately we determined this was something that we knew we could deliver, afford and would allow us to provide a better service than our competitors.
Before committing and understanding the requirements gives you space to think about innovative ways to deliver services without compromising your quality standards.
Think through processes and precedents that could help streamline the delivery of services outside of your scope in the future.
Take Action to Streamline Delivery of Services Outside Your Scope
Delivering services outside your business’s scope can be difficult and also very rewarding. Establish clear boundaries, assess risks and potential costs, and equip employees with the necessary tools and resources to deliver over-the-top service when they can.
Carefully considering when and how to use overdelivering as part of your customer service strategy will ensure that each interaction has maximum impact while protecting your bottom line.
With the right strategies and processes, you can successfully deliver services outside your scope while maintaining quality and profitability.
By Ben Walker: He is a CEO, entrepreneur, and visionary leader that enjoys helping others become successful in business and in life.
Ben’s company, Ditto Transcripts, provides user-friendly and cost-effective transcription services for the medical, legal, law enforcement, and financial industries for organizations all over the world.
Ben is a sought after thought leader and has made contributions to publications like Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc, Forbes, and the Associated Press.
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