I don’t understand why more businesses aren’t marketing good customer service.
Good customer service, not to mention great customer service, is difficult to come by these days. Think about every business, product or service you come into contact with on a daily basis. Then think about whether or not you are receiving truly good CS. I would argue that most often, you probably “settle” for average customer service and are rarely exposed to truly strong customer service. You probably don’t even realize it sometimes.
Two very different examples of CS came into play just yesterday for me, and there is a lesson that relates to marketing.
First, I tried to rent a car with one of the leading (or at least one of the most well-known) car rental companies. I have given a lot of business to this particular company, and have earned their highest status after renting cars from them for well over 10 years. Well, without getting too far into the details of what actually happened, there was a mix-up with my reservation. I wasn’t getting anywhere with anyone in person. So I made calls and emails to try and get some help to straighten it all out, but I wasn’t getting anywhere there either. No one took responsibility for situation. After all of my years of devotion to this one particular company, when push came to shove, my “status” hadn’t earned me a damn thing in the eyes of these particular customer service representatives. In fact, I wasted close to three hours of my time trying to get everything straightened out. That is not good customer service.
Second, almost immediately after I got the car rental episode straightened out, I stopped by my bank of choice to make a deposit. I walked up to the window and was immediately greeted cheerfully. The CS representative said her name, and earnestly asked “how can I help you today?” It was like a breath of fresh air. I provided the check, deposit slip and my ID, and from that point forward was called by name by the bank’s employees. I was even thanked for my loyalty for the last seven years. Even the teller next to the one I was talking to asked how my day was going. I chuckled and said “pretty shitty until now”. They laughed too. When I was done with the transaction, the customer service representative smiled again, asked me if there was anything else I needed, and wished me well. That is good customer service.
It got me thinking, oddly, about marketing.
Experience number one is likely what most of us come into contact with every day without maybe even realizing it; sub-par customer service, and sub-par CS even when there is years of loyalty built up.
Experience number two is likely what most of us do not come into contact with very often; good customer service by people who genuinely are there to help solve problems and make your experience a great one.
With my bank example, I recalled all of the marketing and advertising I’d seen from that particular bank in the past. I couldn’t once recall anything from their material about good customer service. When you think of the banking industry, there aren’t too many differentiators. Sure, there are different types of accounts, fee structures, percentage returns and small differences related to the tangible things. These are the things you see most often in marketing materials. “Do business with our bank and enjoy no fees!” “Do business with our bank and you’ll earn X% on your money market.”You get the picture.