As promised, I have a guest blog for you today. This is a great piece on the importance of customer service by Gordon Carmichael of Key Parker, a fabulous creative agency.
The art of good customer service is about knowing what your customers’ wants and needs are before they do.
Allow us a comic example: there’s a scene in ‘Coming to America’ where Eddie Murphy asks a waiter in a restaurant to taste his soup.
“Is the soup not your liking sir?” asks the waiter.
“Just taste the soup.”
“Is the soup cold sir?” he asks again
“Just taste the soup.”
“Is this not what you ordered sir?”
“JUST TASTE THE DAMN SOUP.”
“Yes sir…oh but you don’t appear to have a spoon.”
“Ah, now we’re getting somewhere!”
As they say: fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
In an age where commoditisation and price pressure are commonplace, service is the one area where a brand can create real differentiation.
As management guru Peter Drucker puts it:
‘A company’s primary responsibility is to serve its customers. Profit is not the primary goal, but rather an essential condition for the company’s continued existence’.
Its often been said that the definition of a brand is its customers’ gut feeling about its products or service.
Those products and services provide customers with a choice. But it’s the brand and its values that can define whether those customers will choose one product or service over another.
Service is a key pillar in building a successful and sustainable brand. And when it costs at least five times as much to win a new customer as it does to retain an existing one, why would you play customer service roulette?
Social media has raised the profile of customer service and enabled it to be used as a key marketing tool. But with the proliferation of voucher sites, discount codes and price comparison sites the customer service water can appear cloudy. However, in the long run, customers will always return to the clarity of a service that values them as an individual.
Great customer service is a virtuous circle. Creating a compelling value proposition will build loyalty, which in turn will build growth, which will lead to increased profit, which can be reinvested in compelling value propositions.
Going back to Eddy Murphy and his soup, that starts by having the tools in place to deliver the right service and those value propositions.
For more blogs by Key Parker, please visit the ‘musings’ page of their website. It’s definitely worth a look as it is one of the best sites I have ever seen and a great showcase of their creative and digital talent.