Principle 4:
Become Your Competitors' Worst Nightmare

Successful entrepreneurs seek to become their competitors' worst nightmare through customer satisfaction. They consistently indicated superior customer service as their core competitive advantage over the competition. A flexible and aggressive posture is necessary to satisfy the customer. In fact, it is necessary to maintain viability and achieve growth. Successful entrepreneurs said that the key is to make the satisfaction of customers the central focus of the company, with no boundaries on the imagination as to how or how much to satisfy customers.

MAXIMS

  1. Create new standards for customer satisfaction
  2. Make satisfaction synonymous with your company name
  3. Create a customer orientation within the company
  4. Create and use a value system focused on satisfying the customer

Maxim 1: Become your competitor's worst nightmare by creating new standards for customer satisfaction.

Satisfying the customer means going the extra mile and being willing to break the industry norms on expected service. Successful entrepreneurs never do just the minimum when it comes to service. They beat the competition hands-down on customer satisfaction and use this as their niche. Successful entrepreneurs set new standards and then use their service capabilities to catapult themselves over the brick wall. They recognize that customers will remember when they go out of their way to satisfy them. Perhaps more important is that customers never forget suppliers who do not satisfy them.

Maxim 2: Make 'satisfaction' synonymous with your company name.

Successful entrepreneurs try to create an image for their companies that tells the customer: We know your name, we know who you are, you are important, and we know how to please you -- watch us prove it! Doing business with a successful entrepreneur's company is synonymous with satisfaction. This dedication to the customer creates a competitive advantage that competitors have extreme difficulty matching.

Maxim 3: Create a customer orientation within the company.

Successful entrepreneurs work to make the customer the focus throughout the entire company, from the janitor to the president. They do this by setting an example, showing their commitment, and by communicating their expectations. They also make the employees feel important and necessary for satisfying the customers. Creating a customer orientation is more than writing up policy manuals, it is the core of successful entrepreneurs' activities.

Maxim 4: Create and use a value system focused on satisfying the customer.

Many decisions must be made that affect customer satisfaction when the entrepreneur is not present. Values guide employees when the entrepreneur is not watching. Successful entrepreneurs say that a properly nurtured system of values will tell employees the right thing to do. By expressing values that reflect esteem for the customer, the entrepreneur's service expectations are made clear. Successful entrepreneurs shape their company value system to create an environment favorable for satisfying the customer and then turn this environment into a competitive advantage.

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