No.239: Why customer service?

Willmot's Weekly Wisdom

Customer service has changed dramatically. Why? Because it’s expensive, difficult, and cannot be easily replicated while guaranteeing the same results. And it means different things to different people. What works for the competition won’t necessarily work for you.

Quality customer service has to be a component of your strategy and not a procedural burden. So, how can you differentiate your organisation through customer service?

  1. Admit that good enough is no longer enough.
  2. Raise the expectations of your staff and delight your customers by meeting those expectations every time.
  3. Don’t promise perfection; promise customer engagement.
  4. Reward your loyal customers, not just the new ones.
  5. Stand out from the crowd by engaging with buyers in ways that your competitors can’t or won’t.
  6. Stop cutting corners to reduce customer service costs. Great customer service is an investment, not an expenditure item.
  7. Eliminate the cliché: “under-promise and over-deliver”. It’s stupid. If you don’t know why it’s stupid, ask me.
  8. Eliminate the causes of negative word of mouth.
  9. Build trust.
  10. Build an organisational culture where your staff treat customers as well as they can. Not because you want to grow profits, but because you can, and it’s the right thing to do.

Customer service is an attitude that is driven by your corporate culture. Invest in customer service, develop your people, and create the system that produces the outcomes your customers want. Then your organisation will be rewarded with what it wants.

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
— Albert Einstein.