Dan Kennedy always says “it’s not always about the customer;it’s about the service” and today I humbly agree. When you are starting out, there’s always the notion that you are building a big world class business. At least that’s what is said in your head. Sometimes we are totally delusional about that and since customer service is not taught in school and colleges as well as in the University of Hardknocks, you are often given the feeling that it’s a nice set of information from a book. So we read a lot of stuff.
Customers are the live wire of any business and whether you are an online company or a brick and mortar entity how you treat your customer is always essential to the your bottom-line. Lately I have been having a hot air moment with one of my website host providers.
Ya see, I got those sticking personality and I don’t jump often. My phone number I got for 10 years, my tax guy for 8 years and hosting company pushing a bit over 6 years. I just don’t like jumping, but when I get rub wrong, I shout so loud that I can instantly create a bit of a stir. I think when we are dealing with brand loyalty and customer service, we have to validate the customer experience and do some measurements.
‘People got feelings’ and when they are constantly treated badly, I can honestly say, they will walk away and tell their friends and friends-friend and the story is easy to catch up on the street. We have to know that early. I must admit that too many people build their business like a just-come painter who focuses on the paint and windows and forget the essential primer and base coats.
Business got roots, foundation and values. Customer service is one of those root columns. Not everyone can be Zapoos to woo and wow but eVERYONE can be human and treat people with respect. I recently had a run in with Network Solution, the little hosting company in Virginia. Their automatic renewal, customer follow up and follow through were just getting less than average. I called repeatedly and voiced my concern, noted my need for better service and the like. I was promised same but the slippage continued. My lawyer was shooting for a day in court and a slap on their risk, I was aiming for a better experience and quality but they were not stepping up.
It got to a head way when I permanently lost a domain and all the files associated with it. Was I upset, yes, big time. I called and I voiced my concern and then I took to the web –fB and twitter but I had my fair share. With the FB comments and twittes, I got executive treatment. A call from the executive suites and an apology, I took that as a hope for the better but the problems continued and the slippage increased. I decided this time, I will honor the wishes of my attorney, we will head to the bars and make our claims. I ranted once more- FB and twitter and then again more executives showed up. More apologies, more promises and more moons and stars are coming down but this time I had my throat full, I waited one day too much and I was not gonna recant. This time, I let the executive know that I am not backing down and I am tired of their crappy service. If you are charging me and I am paying, I needed quality.
This little lesson opened my eyes of the danger of Brand Loyalty. Sometimes it’s good to be a jumping frog. Sometimes you get better services when you move from one train to the next. They might not be that much passengers there and the baggage might be less. But the true value of this lesson is one in customer service.
Nothing can break a business faster than poor services to the customers. People got their own stuff going on and don’t add to their plate your crappy service. Sometimes it’s better farming off your customer service but other times, you need to have a better system of dealing with customer problems.
The day I started to rant on Network Solution fan page, I was surprise that not only that I found people ranting about their experience but the very same problem I had others had. This is when you have to check the system.
Systemic problems are not easily addressed through farm out servie or outsourced contractors. You are the owner of the company, you are the one people expect to deliver. Your contractors can do a great job of being there for technical stuff but when there is dis-satisfaction, I know that they will not take all the bite for you. You have to build your customer experience on some good foundations worth sharing.
These are the foundations that will always stand out:
KNOW- ing: People have a particular reason why they prefer name brand stores over the no name or “off brand” ones. Why they wear name brand clothes over the vintage pieces from Johnny-come-lately. Its because they know the name and reputation that stands along the popular brand name. When we are building an online business we have to tell ourselves daily that people are getting to know me more and I need to give them an experience worth sharing.
LIKE– as the father of sons only I know what is JOURNEY footwear and Disney KUtS barber chain. They kids love them and always wanted to go back. They look forward to their next appointment. Not because of the cost but the experience. WE need to build our customers base on an experience of LIKABILITY. The saying is still true, “all things being equal, people will always buy from someone they like.” They social media, online voting and reputations company’s all know this and so should you . Make your customer like you by giving them a great experience.
TRUST– You Know I cannot trust my hosting company. They have let me down once too many. They have failed to honor their word and I am totally ready to go ham on them. Trust is the ability to communicate with your client honesty and sincerity. You might be a small fly on the wall but a spider is looking at you. You just have to be true to your word, have above board intergrity and stand for something. It’s not the amount of money you charge, it’s the standards you deliver that mattes. We will always like those companies who do that.
Author Bio: Nigel Williamson is a youth development specialist, author, success coach, and education expert. Known as “The Bounce Back King,” he’s the author to Life’s Ultimate Ticket, Secrets to Study at US colleges and Universities, and the creator of the Scholarship Secrets Toolkit, an student scholarship guide program for International Students wishing to study in the US. For more information, or to contact Nigel, please visit http://www.
Hi Praveen, I really believe customer service is the back bone of any company or shop. As for me, I really take that factor into account when I make any dealings with a company or buy any products.
It’s no use sticking with a company that doesn’t care for you. And those companies which do sure build up their Brand loyalty. But I’ve seen many companies who value their product more than the customers, and yet people line up to them – maybe one of the know, like, and trust factors work for them.
I’m sure the marketers and companies could take tips on how to not kill their business from this post.
Harleena Singh recently posted…What Stops You from Living a Healthy Lifestyle
Harleena – We as customers always target the market and see who is offering what and at what cost and what is the service we get by opting a particular brand. Imagine how a marketeer should organize his campaign to meet all the customers need and how difficult it should be to get and maintain the loyalty.
Yes, customer satisfaction will always be the main concern for any business no matter how advanced technology can get.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Praveen Rajarao recently posted…Poor Customer Service: Key tips to kill a business
This is wonderful… You are hitting nail on the head and true compliments coming out, no? 🙂
Really – A domain and files? That’s terrible. Woah… No backup or ability to restore mate? I’m sorry about that. How can they be ignoring while data is being missing? Like killing someone and say sorry. Days, months and years of efforts in to thin air… That’s really sad when I hear mate.
I think customer service is what keep adding value for product or service when it’s live. I heard many scenarios people won’t go for some products due to issues with customer service. They start hating it, spread the word and it’s not easy to build the reputation once it has been killed. It can attract more customers or send to competitors. TRUST is very powerful. The word-of-mouth is truly very effective as you implied.
It’s not about product, but people, no? Without them, no need of service or have profits or whatever we call. Ignoring one due to they have 1000s is where they get it wrong. Loyalty or likeness doesn’t comes just by its features and quality, but with recommendation goes around linked with existing customer base. You know, the criticisms mostly comes when there is no proper customer service though it’s absolutely free. One second is enough to switch side ’cause of this factor.
Now a personal experience can learn a lot of things 🙂 This is really a great one Praveen. Sometimes I feel we are giving enough room for ’em without hitting on them first phase. May be we trust too much. 6 years wouldn’t be wrong, but things can change in few seconds.
Mayura recently posted…How to Download Photos and Albums in Picasa Web Albums
Mayura – Thanks for stopping by and glad to see your comment.
Yes, it is true, when we experience such mishaps in life, we actually realize the potential of “customer loyalty” and the question arises why we should even stick on to a single brand? When we dont get the service we expect for the money we paid, we always shop around and get a better prospect out there.
It is always about people, products can be manufactured with ease, but to get a customer base and maintain their loyalty towards a brand is not an easy task. Personal touch with human interaction always turns things in one’s favor.
Nice to read your comment, have a wonderful day ahead.
Praveen Rajarao recently posted…Poor Customer Service: Key tips to kill a business
Any business is based on real people – online or offline; doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how excellent your product or service is, if people’s feelings, expectations are not met that’s gonna ruin the biz!
Jane recently posted…Can Nintendo Wii U Change The Sluggish Video Gaming Market?
Hello Jane – Welcome back on DMC and thanks for your comment.
Rightly put forth by you, it is all about people and their feelings and interactions that make a business successful. It takes a whole lot to build a product but a very little time to ruin the business.
Have a wonderful day ahead.
Praveen Rajarao recently posted…Visit Pismo Beach, California
Thanks a lot for the post. It’s extremely important to provide stellar customer service since that is what will help businesses keep customers as well as welcome new customers. Also, customers aren’t hesitant to leave a review or voice their opinion or concern about a company. I recently purchased new bedroom furniture that was shipped directly to my house. I was so pleased with the service that I left a positive Home Direct reviews. I also informed my friends, family and neighbors to use the same company. Word of mouth travels fast!
I honestly believe that poor customer service will be one of the reasons why businesses will flap. We should learn how to make them feel special as that will keep them keep coming back for more of our service. Thanks for this blog!
I honestly think that one way to lose customers is to give them poor customer service. I, for one, hate poor customer service that I leave that company product no matter how I love it. Thanks for sharing this blog!
“I had a bad experience with a customer service of this particular company and I canceled my transaction with them. That is why I believe that it will be best if we give efforts in making our customer service such a wonderful experience for our customers. It will make them stay and might recommend us to their kins. Thanks for this post!
Having worked in a customer-service oriented business for the past 3 years sure gives me insight on the topic. The sad reality is not a lot of people practice them. It’s definitely something business owners should take a look into.
customer service is key point for successful business. It makes good reputation in front of customers.