Power of Customer Service

As you shop for a product or service, you will discover that businesses are often similar regarding price, location or delivery. So the reason you choose one or over another is probably its customer service.

Many resources discuss happy and unhappy customers, and some are offered later in this post. Customer service has improved through the years because the competition is stiff. But, issues remain.

In the book, Beyond Customer Service, author Richard F. Gerson, PhD., offers some Startling Service Statistics.  Here’s an overview.

  • Relatively few customers complain because they do not think it will do any good, or they do not want to be bothered. On the other hand, complainers are more likely to remain customers because complaining is communicating.
  • For every one complaint you receive, there are probably a dozen or more with unresolved complaints or problems. They talk…and their connections talk. You know: word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Most customers who complain will do business with you if you solve their problems quickly, courteously and satisfactorily. They will also refer people to you because you listened and acted. However, happy customers may not tell as many people as unhappy customers.
  • It costs much more (in terms of marketing) to attract new customers than to keep current ones.
  • Businesses that provide superior services can often charge more and increase market share.

What, then, is great customer service?

In the first of his three books on the subject, T. Scott Gross, explains that “Positively Outrageous Service is: random and unexpected; out of proportion to the circumstance; invites the customer to play or be otherwise highly involved; creates compelling word of mouth; and creates lifetime buying decisions.”

Now, as you realize, the word Outrageous can describe the worst service possible. But, “highly [great] memorable is the hallmark of Positively Outrageous Service, and that, my friends, is positioning” and your goal.

Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service, another book, elaborates on the “fundamental principles” of great service:  reliable, responsive, reassuring, empathetic, offers tangibles, and “the customer is always…the customer.”

Here are a few of the many, many resources and guides to rewarding – to buyer and seller – customer service.

  • Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service, Performance Research Associates.
  • Superior Customer Service, How to Keep Customers Racing Back to Your Business – Time-Tested Examples from Leading Companies, Dan W. Blacharski.
  • Super Service – Seven Keys to Delivering Great Customer Service, Val and Jeff Gee.
  • Positively Outrageous Service, Outrageous! – Unforgettable Service…Guilt-Free Selling, and When Customers Talk…Turn What They Tell You into Sales, T. Scott Gross & BIGresearch.
  • Beyond Customer Service and Quality Customer Service, two of a series on customer service.

Customer service was also the subject of an earlier post on this blog: Customer Service and 1st Person PR – What’s Your Story? http://sallychapralis.com/blog/?p=46

Bottom line: It does not make any difference what our title or position is. We are all in customer service.

7 Responses to “Power of Customer Service”

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