Customer Service is dead

Your customer service is dead.

And by that I mean – the way you’ve historically defined customer service ( and probably were taught it in some educational program ) is gone, dead, fossilized.

It’s dead because your customers say so – and at the end of the day the customer is the power player here, not you.

You were taught that customer service happened when a customer had a complaint or a return.
That made sense back when the Sears catalogue arrived by US Postal Mail. Places to purchase were scarce and so businesses had power.
That business is gone. That power dynamic is gone. That game is gone.

Customers now have more options than they can count. More than they want to count. More than they will count.
Because they don’t have to.

Customers just need to ask their friends “where do you ……”.
Friends recommend businesses that make them feel special – thanks to great customer service.

Today smart companies realize that customer service starts whenever anyone touches the company.
Social media posts, Amazon searches, Geo-Tagged photos, or hashtags are all touches and opportunities.

Customer service is now customer everything.
It’s the 360° view of your business by the people with the $$.

Done well – you get huge lifetime customer value.
Done poorly – you die from the thousand cuts of damage control.

So how is your customer service?

Reputation management or damage control?

If your hiring a social agency for damage control – it’s way to late and that agency can’t help.
You did something very bad and should fix ( over – fix ) the issue.
Your reputation is stained – period.
Reputation management is like securing a network – after all the data has been scooped into someone else’s computer.
What’s way more effective is taking a pro-active approach – starting on day 1.
Here’s 3 ways to stay ahead of the game.
  1. recognize where your customers are posting about you – and it’s NOT on review sites. More customers are posting compliments ( and critiques ) on regular social channels than are using review sites. If you care at all about your reputation, be part of those conversations.
  2. say “thank you” and “I’m sorry”. Just like you learned as small children, these are incredibly effective ways to lubricate communications with people and leave them with a good impression of you ( and as a business, leaving customers with a good impression is very important ).
  3. if you don’t get this right – everyone gets fired. One of Sam Walton’s less famous quotes “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” Sam was a very sharp guy. He understood customer dynamics. Remember that your job is determined by happy customers – period.
So about that rep – how much are you really working to make it amazing??