Customer Service as the Face of a Company
No matter how you look at it, it all gets down to customer service, and I mean great customer service. If you think about your own experiences for a minute you’ll come to realize that it’s all about how the people you are dealing with, the people you are buying from, whether it is a car, or the cable company, or the guy who does your landscaping, it’s all about how they make you feel. The customer experience. You can have the greatest product in the world, but if you don’t deliver a great customer experience it won’t matter.
When you buy a luxury car you want to have literally luxurious customer service. I have a friend who had a Lexus for many years and raved about the customer experience that he received when he took the car in for servicing. It was all the little things, from the coffee and pastries in the waiting room, to the new Lexus loaner they gave him for free, or the fact that when the car was returned it had been washed. All relatively small things that mattered a great deal.
Then he traded in his Lexus for a Cadillac and was shocked at the deterioration in the customer care, the customer experience. They serviced the car well, but that was the end of it. He had to ask for a loaner and was given one …grudgingly. And the loaner was used and not that clean. In the end he did not feel special. He did not feel that the service was luxurious and really what it all got down to was that he did not feel like the company cared. Which is what it is all about isn’t it? The company cares about how the customer feels.
The interesting thing about this is that both companies were equal in the hard part. The technology of fixing the car. That was about the same. But the whole customer experience, the easy stuff was not the same at all. So often this is the way it is. We can handle the hard stuff as well as the other guy, often even better. But whoever delivers the easy stuff, the so-called soft stuff, wins in the end.
How much does that coffee and pastry cost? How much does a comfortable waiting room cost? How much did it cost to provide a brand-new loaner, which is actually a demo for the customer’s next car? And how much does washing the customer’s car cost? And finally, how much does that service with a smile cost? Priceless!
Let’s take a look at the significance of customer service.
First Impressions Matter: Customer service is often the first point of contact a customer has with a company. A friendly, helpful, and efficient interaction can leave a lasting positive impression. And yes make sure this is from the very beginning. Like the way you answer the phone. Get rid of that@$##^$# automated phone system now! Sorry but I am a fanatic about this!
Customer Retention: Exceptional customer service fosters customer loyalty. Companies that prioritize customer satisfaction are more likely to retain their existing customers. If you make your customers happy they will keep company back again and again. How much is that worth to you?
Brand Image: The way a company treats its customers directly impacts its brand image. Excellent service creates a favorable perception in the minds of consumers. We are all spending a lot of money on brand imaging and none of that marketing is as effective as the real experience.
Word of Mouth: Satisfied customers become brand ambassadors, spreading positive word-of-mouth, and driving new business. Nothing is more valuable than happy customers bragging about how great it is working with your company and products and services.
Market Differentiation: In saturated markets, exceptional customer service can set a company apart from its competitors. It becomes a unique selling proposition. Customer service is so bad, the bar is so low that if you put some effort in your customer, you will stand out immediately.
Feedback: Customer service serves as a valuable source of feedback, helping companies identify areas for improvement and innovation.
Customer service is the face of a company, and its significance cannot be overstated. It is the primary driver of customer satisfaction, brand reputation, and long-term success. By embracing innovative and unique customer service ideas, businesses can create memorable experiences, foster customer loyalty, and stand out in a competitive marketplace. In doing so, they not only run their companies but also shape their identities in the eyes of their customers, becoming beacons of excellence in the business world. It’s only common sense.