customer service is Everything

Yes, I know I am breaking the weekly blogging ritual (to be honest, I’m not sure if it’s really working quite as I hoped for, and this week’s Wednesday post may well be the last in the series of longer and perhaps more reflective posts), but, having endured the most miserable experience at the hands of 3 Mobile, I felt compelled to revisit this subject.

I won’t bore you with the litany of f*** ups by our Friends, but it just brought me back to the most basic of disciplines:

customer service.

To be honest, the whole idea of service just seems so third rate.

It’s the bare minimum;

it’s what it says on the door;

but when I enter your kingdom, I want to leave feeling:

special,

loved,

my business is priceless,

and that you did more than just the bare minimum (stop reading from the script FFS!).

Is that expecting too much?

People don’t care.

Not nearly enough.

[Lawyers if you are reading this then you may be constrained by your duty of confidentiality but if you are going to try to wrestle me to the ground with your stories of WOW service don't be surprised if I challenge you to report on your clients who complain. I can pretty much guarantee that underlying each one is some miserable experience they have had concerning your service]

You can of course regale me with your wonderful stories, but when you truly deliver, day in day out, then you won’t need to concern yourself with the plethora of marketing and or sales tactics that seem to be foisted on you all the time.

In the real world, the people who deliver – and deliver from the heart – don’t have to worry about sales puffery because their brand advocates do all the marketing they will ever need.

we practically shout from the roof top

we want you to make it big

and more than that (from an ego perspective) want to bask in the glory of referring you to our friends, family and acquaintances.

“How was [name]?”

That said you still have to produce something that people want (now).

If you don’t get enough chances to super-delight, then your pool is simply too small to be effective.

And there lies the dilemma.

If you have created something with a demand – not one that you have to shock into life – then you are more than 50% along the path.

Service is not just in the delivery – one off or otherwise.

It’s also how you are perceived in the market.

Most people don’t want to be associated with a brand that is on the up but at the expense of not following a set of values that puts it in the vanguard of enlightened businesses. Hopefully, though, if the business is delivering WOW customer service each and every time, then it is following a set of principles that radiate good market behaviour.

Service is a differentiator for sure but too many people pay lip service to the idea of underpromising and overdelivering.

It’s as old as the hills but it works.

And it may just be in the perception by dint of the thank yous, the welcoming smile at the door or the follow up after I have bought, but it works every time.

Service is pretty much everything.

Note:

If you are struggling to compete then service can lift you out of the mire of mediocrity quicker than a rebrand, relaunch or lots of marketing spend.

It is cultural in its import but to make it mean more than just a label requires leadership in spades.

And I don’t just mean the brand of leadership that is prepared to let a few things slide, but the type that literally puts their own reputation in harms way at the slightest gaffe, slip up or a falling off the wagon.

The same goes for everyone.

If you truly believe in service then it should inform all you do, and you must be prepared to be held to account:

pay

reward

promotion.

Of course, we are all human – meaning mistakes happen – but, when it comes to service, be prepared to hold up a big, bright flag to your democratic allegiance to service and deliver to the very highest standard each and every day for the rest of your life.

If you can’t deliver then you don’t deserve to be in business.

Trust me you won’t be missed.

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