Well, it’s been a while since I’ve logged onto the old blog and shared my thoughts, but it has not been for lack of trying. Blackcircles.com is a busy place that demands a lot of time - time that I am always willing to give as we try to further develop our business.
It has been due to this ongoing desire to further enhance our customers’ experience that I’ve recently spent time considering exactly what Customer Service is, and how we can continue to improve on it.
Customer service can often come across as a buzz word that is banded around in meeting rooms and boardrooms. Often without much consideration as to what it actually means. It regularly gets tied up along the notion of selling products or services.
Although customer service is present during this process, I believe that there is much more – that it is about ensuring that a consumer’s expectations are met, in full.
I know, it’s all fine and well writing that, actually implementing a strategy that fulfils this rather lofty goal is something else.
After all, not one single group of customers buy from a shop. Even in niche markets, such as selling tyres, there are plenty of variations in who buys your goods.
So yeah, it is a challenge - meeting the needs of the many. But, in no way is it impossible.
Who Does It Best?
One industry that I have often looked to for inspiration on this topic is the supermarket industry. Their ability to sell to and meet the expectations of a wide variety of customer groups is something that most of us can learn from.
I mean, they’ve got those customers who just want basic products at rock bottom prices, as well as those who see quality as key when buying their weekly shopping. Mix in those with a social conscious who want only fair-trade goods and then those won’t touch anything unless it is organic and you can see what a varied number of needs most supermarkets cater to.
Of course within the supermarket industry there are those companies that focus their attention on one sector of customers over another, but the market leader (I’m talking Tesco’s here) is a prime example of not just meeting customer needs, but in exceeding them.
The main weapon in their arsenal, in this respect, is the Tesco Clubcard. Since being introduced in the 1990s, Tesco Clubcard, the points that you earn and the vouchers you receive have become an integral part of not only shoppers’ considerations, but - in some ways - our society.
Some may see that as an exaggeration, but I stand by it. Just think about it, there are roughly 16million Tesco Clubcard holders in the UK. 16 Million! That’s 5 times the population of Wales.
This scheme, essentially that’s all it is – a reward/loyalty scheme for shoppers – has been fundamental in Tesco’s success over the past two decades.
Why? Because with their Clubcard points, Tesco aren’t just presenting their customers with competitive prices, they are adding value to their everyday life.
By rewarding them with points that can be exchanged for a whole host of trips, meals, holidays, special deals, etc, Tesco have built a relationship with their customers like no other brand before them.
Earn Tesco Clubcard Points on Tyres
That is why we teamed up with Tesco to offer our customers that same added value. When shopping for their new tyres with Blackcircles.com, motorists can earn Tesco Clubcard points on their purchases.
With the amount of negative press that has recently arose from the cost of motoring (be it fuel prices, insurance premiums, etc) and the affect it is having on family budgets, we are aiming to give back to our customers, allowing them to enjoy the benefits and rewards that come with Clubcard points.
Of course, we’re still focusing on low price points and the importance of customer communications. However, with this new added dimension to the company I believe that we are making our customer service that little bit greater and making shopping for tyres that extra bit more rewarding.