Your customers and you

This week’s blog was scheduled to be an interview with customer service and loyalty guru Cindy Solomon who has a new book out called The Rules of Woo. A last minute reschedule means that will be coming to you next week instead.

The topic of customer service is an increasingly important one for every company. As I mentioned last week the rise of social media, as a way for customers to talk about their experiences, has laid open the cracks and exposed the fallacy of the promises many companies make.

However, customer service, like pretty much everything about your business, is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. What works for the widget company down the block will be a disaster for the service firm around the corner.

So how do you figure out what is the right level of customer service for YOUR customers AND your brand? Here is a short list of things to think about to get your started.

1. Each time you sell your customer something you are making a promise. Customer service is about making sure that promise is met, so make sure you know what promises you’re making and work up from there.
2. Your brand is also about a promise, so while you are looking at the promise to the customer, make sure that promise the organisation is making to itself is also being honoured. For example, Apple keeps its eye firmly on delivering great innovative products and user experience, that’s the promise they make and keep first. Not every brand is founded around customer service.
3. All customers are not created equal. Some will be great supporters of your brand, keep coming back and never give you a single days grief. Others will be the bane of your existence, for relatively little return. Do you treat them the same? Does the squeaky wheel get more attention? In other words, are you encouraging “bad” behavior instead of rewarding “good” behavior?

If you really think through these things you will be on the way to delivering customer service that works for you AND for your customers. After all there are two sides to every interaction.

And make sure to check in next week for my interview with Cindy Solomon when I will have a lot more customer service goodness to share with everyone.

See you next week.

Michel Hogan is a Brand Advocate. Through her work with Brandology here in Australia and in the United States, she helps organisations recognise who they are and align that with what they do and say, to build more authentic and sustainable brands. She also publishes the Brand thought leadership blog – Brand Alignment.

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