Make a difference through service excellence

Service standards in South Africa, on the whole, leave much to be desired.  That is why this article focuses on the rendering of service. In particular, the theme for this article is: How do I link my value proposition to service excellence?

In order to effect any meaningful interaction between the value proposition of my business and service excellence, I need to know what my “forms of value” and “knowledge of the service experience of my client” are.

1. Forms of Value

The value proposition of my business should distinguish me from the competition with regard to one or more of the following elements:

  • The quality of my value proposition.
  • The professional image of my business.
  • The convenience of doing business with me.
  • The timeliness of the solutions I offer to the client’s needs.
  • The competitiveness of my prices.
  • How safe it is to make use of my product and service
  • The soundness of my advice, or product, in solving the client’s problem, or meeting the client’s needs.

2. Knowledge of my client’s service experience

The following questions may help you to evaluate your level of service rendering:

  • Do I render a level of service that exceeds the expectations of my clients?
  • Do I really listen to my clients’ needs and do I meet those needs in particular?  Clients are usually looking for simple solutions, but product and service providers are inclined to overcomplicate.
  • Do I know which clients I regularly do business with?
  • Do I see the individual behind every client?
  • How do I deal with dissatisfied clients?
  • Have I placed myself in my client’s shoes?  How would I experience my business?

When I have identified the building blocks of value in my business and I know what my value proposition entails, I am able to evaluate my service by using the feedback from my clients to identify the shortcomings in my service and to address these effectively.

It is therefore of the utmost importance to realise that I cannot deliver on the value proposition of my business if my service standards do not support it. In the words of Napoleon Hill, “You can start right where you stand and apply the habit of going the extra mile by rendering more service and better service that you are now being paid for.” 


The content in this article was provided by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market. Sanlam is a diversified financial services group, headquartered in South Africa, operating across a number of selected global markets.

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