Customer Service Is Head & Shoulders Above When You’ve Got Their Back!
Thousands of company leaders around the world ask: Does customer service truly differentiate a company — head and shoulders — above the competition? Do customers return to companies because of customer service?
These leaders raise the issue from a financial perspective.
Well, there are many companies out there — from Ritz Carlton, Chick Fil-A, Zappos and Nordstroms, to lesser known mid-size companies that have thrived for decades — that prove the answer to the question is a clear “yes”.
Yet despite volumes of research-based statistics and financial proof, the question persists. When leaders who have seen the numbers ask me this question, my answer is:
“Customer service differentiates you head & shoulders above the competition when you’ve got the customer’s back!”
Let’s look at this phenomenon both in the business-to-business (B2B) world and the business-to- consumer (B2C) world.
You are a CEO or you own a company. You are looking for a supplier or distributor for a very important strategic aspect of the business. Whom do you choose?
- One w/ great financials and market position.
- One w/ proven track record of service in the industry ?
- One who has #1 & #2 AND understands your business and shows you they will “have your back”.
“The issue for you is trust that your best interest is also in their best interest!”
This is the true definition of customer service. Customer service is not a department. It’s not a team of agents or sales reps. It’s not a low level function of handling problems and exceptions.
Customer service is a relationship of trust that exists in every aspect of business interaction.
Trust differentiates your company head and shoulders above the other companies when you show the customers you “have their back”.
In the everyday consumer world, the customer asks the same key question: Will my best interest be in their best interest? Will this company — whoever they are — put my needs first and succeed through meeting my needs?
The more important the product/service is to the customer, the greater the influence customer service has on the decision.
How does a customer define importance? Is it just the price? Everyone connects high customer service expectations with high cost products and services (e.g. Ritz Carlton, Nordstrom etc.)
It goes far beyond that. It also includes:
- The emotional impact on the customer
Does it ease my stress? Help my family? Lift me out of a rut?
- The disruptive effect on life
Will it positively or negatively affect my day? My plans? My life? Will I have to attack to get what I need and want?
- The customer’s identity
Does it fit with who I am? Does it support I want to be seen, and what I want the world to know about me
- The risk of the decision to avoid buyer’s remorse
Regardless of the price, can I trust that this is the right decision? I don’t want to feel the burden of regret.
- The desire to celebrate and feel happy
If I want to feel happy, will the company take me down with their selfish narcissism.
Customer service — the relationship of trust shown in every interaction — puts your company head and shoulders about the competition when you show the customer you have their back.
Listen, understand, engage, connect, and deliver. Throw away the robotic scripts and get personal. That’s when you will see customer service contribute to your bottom line.
©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. This post was written specifically for the SwitchandShift blog. If you wish to repost or republish this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Want more? The customer service series continues here: Your Decisions Reveal Who You Are and What You Value