A company that really wants to excel can’t afford to offer a mediocre product or service. Creating value through innovation and expanding the horizons of our market are the basic ideas of the so-called Blue Ocean Strategy, written by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne in their famous bestseller of the same title.
The authors state believe a non-destructive competition strategy, focusing on new business ideas and the exploration of areas not saturated, creating opportunities for sustained long-term growth.
Broadly speaking, the lines of action that this theory advocates are the creation of a space without competition in the market (versus competing in the existing space), making the competition irrelevant (as opposed to “challenging it”), generating and capturing new demand and align all activities in the company with the goal: the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost (rather than bet on one or the other). It is, in short, to bring more value to our customers without imposing an additional cost to them.
Can you find a blue ocean in a mature market like customer service? Of course you can. A blue ocean does not necessarily mean to create a new market, but to try to re-target and find a new way to solve a customer’s needs. As a consultant and trainer Javier Mejías explains in an interesting blog post, re-target means “create new demand in an unclaimed market space” change perspective and ask “how can we adjust our business model to challenge the competition differently, approaching the market from a different point of view?”
Customer Service represents a golden opportunity for companies seeking a differentiating factors to retain existing customers and attract new customers. As numerous studies show, in many cases service quality exceeds price as a determinant factor of a purchase. A clear example is telecommunication companies and their fierce price wars, it’s one of the sectors most negatively valued about customer service. Therefore, often an effective pre and post sales service is crucial to opt for one or another company with similar rates.
Customer greatly value receiving a customized service, they like to feel the provider values their time and money. Customers like to simply perceive empathy with their problem or need. In the business plans of any company, investment in staff training and in technology should be a prominent priority, as well as processes that contribute to providing an excellent service and a positive customer experience. Blue maybe closer than you think.