Richard Branson Reveals His Customer Service Secrets
Unless your company has a stranglehold on your industry or was a first-mover, everyone agrees that in order to have a truly successful business, you need to have more than just a great product or service. Good customer service is the better half of a real successful business.
When we talk about a successful businesses in this post, we don't mean just in terms of revenue, nor just traditional customer service, but successful in the sense of operating in the territory of positive sentiment -- so much that the mention of your brand triggers good feelings from a customer. Yes, when customer service evolves into customer experience.
Sounds new age-y, yes, but tell me how you feel when I mention companies such as Southwest Airlines, Amazon, and American Express? What comes to mind?
Only a small percentage of companies are able to navigate through the current service landscape of social media, always-connected consumers, and the "customer is always right" mentality unscathed. And those that raise the bar when it comes to serving their customers and exceeding not just their expectations, but the industry's, are the businesses that rise to the top.
It's not an award to be given out, but they'll be annointed by customer loyalty, word of mouth, and of course, revenue growth.
What is Good Customer Service?
That begs the question, what does good customer service actually mean and how to achieve it?
We all know that good customer service is crucial, but once you get down to trying to define what goes into it, not everyone is on the same page. To some, good customer service is as simple as solving problems and offering solutions in an expedient manner. To others it means overall pleasantness and politeness from those who represent the frontlines of the company.
Others define it as when a company is willing to give their customers anything and everything that they want -- you know, the customer is always right approach - no matter how unreasonable some of those demands may be.
There isn't a right or a wrong, because the factors of what makes customer service “good” also depend heavily upon what specific things a particular customer may hold valuable or their expectations from what industry competitors do.