Customer Service: The New Success Tool
With so many options in all the industries for all kinds of products, there’s a stiff competition in the market to win customers. So how can brands differentiate when customers are spoilt with so many alternatives? Though the first thing that comes to mind is product differentiation, ultimately the products/services will have some similarities as they are made to solve similar problems and meant for the same or similar target audience. Businesses have realized this and have gone a step further in order to entice the customers. They not only solve problems with their products/services but also provide a great experience with their customer service. This helps to etch the brand image deeper into the minds of consumers as they have two reasons and not one, to recall the brand or product/service. One is the problem that is solved and the other is the great experience. More and more business organizations are realizing this and have started giving paramount importance to building customer relationships. Let’s look at some organizations that have not only done the customer service well but have done it phenomenally well!
Apple – Creating Exceptional Brand Loyalty
Everyone is aware of how Apple enjoys tremendous brand loyalty from its customers. The customers who buy Apple products are known to be Apple Fanatics as they don’t stop at buying one product from the brand but will end up buying all their tech products from this brand. Hence, loyal customers are not just loyal to the product but loyal to the brand. What makes Apple such a huge success when it comes to customer service is its relationship-building style. To put it more precisely, they don’t just sell a product they sell experience.
Describing one such feature designed by Apple to deliver irresistible customer service experience, Micah Solomon, a Seattle-based customer service consultant says, ‘companies should take a cue from Apple when it comes to creating the ultimate customer experience. The tech giant has extensively analyzed what consumers like and hate about shopping and has taken steps to address those issues. For example, customers can schedule appointments with a “Genius” at the Genius Bar in Apple retail stores so they don’t have to wait around for the next available clerk.’
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Bank of America – Developing A Pull Strategy For Customer Service
You must be annoyed by banks calling you to tell you about their new credit card schemes or reasonable loan EMI options. Very few in this industry realize that it’s not about convincing the customers to buy their services but about compelling them. Customer service shouldn’t be a push strategy but a pull strategy. Bank of America is one such big player who seems to be getting this right. They have taken inspiration from Apple Genius and offer more than 3,000 digital ambassadors at various locations to educate customers about the bank’s crucial mobile-banking services. They were ranked No. 1 in 2016 and 2015 by Keynote Scorecards that assesses various digital features offered by financial services. Statista.com reported in 2016 that out of 323 million people living in the United States, 24.33 million use Bank of America as their primary bank.
Rackspace – Integrate Customer Service In The Organizational Culture
Rackspace is a Texas-based cloud service and web hosting, provider. They have integrated customer-centric organizational culture and serve as a great example of how customer service isn’t just another vertical but a crucial driving force of the business. Their efforts have been duly recognized by the industry, winning them prestigious accolades such as ‘Stevie Awards’. Not only have they included customer service in their core values and mission but also have developed unique ways to educate employees about the same. Some of their distinctive techniques to train employees about customer service include role-playing and personal assessment tools for employees.
The Ritz-Carlton – Fanatic Customer Service is never too much
Customer service is the oxygen for the hospitality industry on which it survives. Ignoring customer service or delivering a sub-standard customer experience is not an option in this space. Ritz-Carlton surely knows this and has been doing more than just a great job. Their legendry customer service stories have been written in prominent books as well.
One such example is of Mr. John Di Julius. John had forgotten his laptop charger in the room while staying at The Ritz Carlton. He received the charger immediately the next day and along with it was an extra charger given by Ritz Carlton, just in case he needs it as he was traveling for business. Renowned business organizations such as Apple Inc have been following The Ritz Carlton’s footsteps and learning a thing or two from this customer service legend.
Fanatic customer service is never overdone. Impactful customer service is crucial to all businesses as all the businesses are for the people, by the people entities. Customer service used to be looked at as a cost instead of a crucial investment. Inevitably, they have changed their approach considering the need for providing great customer service. No matter, how great your product or service is, don’t forget that at the end of the day, customers are the ones who decide its fate.