Marketing Idea No. 148 – The Truth about Service is Out There

“Quality” and “Service” has been the aspirin of the mediocre marketers for a long time. Whenever asked exactly why customers should trust and prefer their brand over the others, they usually come up with the above two lame excuses – its either quality or service or both. But quality is given. And friendly service is expected. Where is the “Wow” factor? Even more importantly, if every product sells quality and service, where is the differentiation? Whats the big deal about your business? 

Lets dig deep into what is conventionally known as customer service. Why is it there? From name itself, it should be clear that it serves the best interest of customer. At least it should. But reality is, customer service is seen as a way of safeguarding company’s interest so that company can keep getting the money that they are earning from that customer by somehow making the customers concerns go away for the time being. So by its DNA itself, this is not customer service. Its COMPANY SERVICE. 

Lets think of something radical. 

The Acid Test of the customer service unit can be that is it helping your customer to save money, even at the expense of your company money. When you walk into a restaurant, the waiter annoyingly points out the most expensive things in the menu as the best food of the house, not the ones that will seem tasty and less costly. When you try to return a sold item, the service rep immediately points out the company of policy of non-refunding after “7 days”, instead of really taking an active interest in looking what really can be done to solve that customers problems. 

All these because its not customer service. Its company service. 

If you walk into Pizza hut with your wife, order for a medium size pizza and your waiter kindly points out that rather than ordering a medium size pizza you can actually order two individual pan pizza and thus save money – now that’s WOW. That’s CUSTOMER service. And in so doing you are guaranteeing 2 things  

  1. You are differentiating your service from other services
  2. You are creating a major recommendation value as the grateful customer will utter this story  many times to many people and thus ensuring that the money you lost from that individual transaction seem like peanut compared to the image and business that you gained

  So remember the acid test. Are you saving money on behalf of your customer by taking that money away from your company’s pocket?  

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2 Comments

  1. very good one.

    1. customer serivce is truly not customer service. Think about a product, TV or something. Why should there be any customer service, the product is supposed to be of good quality and should not be defective at all.

    2. Rightly pointed out. Why there are too many clauses in customer service?

    3. Have you guys ever noticed one important factor of customer serivce in restaurants. More often, you will see the waiters are trying hard to sell you the mineral water, they are brining it to the table, trying to opening the bottle, pouring your glasses. why? this is the easiest profit for the company. because the y dun have to make it and they can charge it at a premium rate. So next time, you see them pouring your glass, dont be happy. because it is company service.

    4. ever been in a car garage?

  2. Customer service refers to more than just getting a good deal. Think about the service you receive at your local store or tea shop. Thats good customer service and in doing that, those businesses are benefitting by way of your regular custom. Essentially, this is what all businesses who are truly focused on providing customer service are looking to achieve – that ‘personal touch’ which adds value to the product or service they are selling. If a business achieves that, especially in the services industry, it is only natural that they look to capitalise on it – in this day and age it can really differentiate from the competition. I know that I only go back to restaurants where I feel I got both a positive customer experience and I liked the food.

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