How to Win at Customer Service
Posted by Becky Carroll on February 5, 2008
Yesterday, I ran a workshop called “Customer Experience: The Intersection of Marketing and Customer Service” as part of the Customer Service is the New Marketing conference. One of my exercises asked the attendees to share their best customer service experience from the last year or so. The attendees had a really hard time coming up with good experiences!
Stop right now and think about the best customer service experience you have had in the past year or so. Can you come up with one?
It is much easier to remember the poor customer service experiences than it is to remember the good ones. We tend to rant and rave when things go wrong. When things go right, we tend to take it for granted. That is, unless the service is spectacular – then, we remember it and tell our story to everyone. For example, one of my workshop attendees from Colorado shared a story about her taxi ride into San Francisco from the airport. In a nutshell, it was horrible! On her way to the conference the next day, another cab driver asked her about her trip so far. After she shared about her poor taxi experience, he turned off the meter and gave her a free tour city highlights before turning the meter back on and bringing her to the conference. She was WOWed!
“Good customer service” is just the price of admission. In order to win at customer service, we need to set ourselves apart by being exceptional. We need to WOW our customers, not by performing random acts of kindness but by executing a strategy to exceed our customers’ expectations.
How do we create this strategy? Over the next few days, I will be sharing some of the tips I heard at the conference from companies that are exceptional, such as Zappos.com and Virgin. I will also be adding in tips from my experiences working with companies seeking to win at customer service. Feel free to send in your own tips and ideas. Let’s go!
(Photo credit: Elnur)