I met with a new client last week, and one of the elements we discussed in depth was their approach to customer service. We talked about it as a brand differentiator against their competition. It wasn’t solely that they had better reps, more experienced workers or nicer people. It was that they had a systematic approach to customer service that related directly back to the guests in their stores. It’s something I am in the process of helping them define as a cornerstone of their brand, and frankly, it’s something that I’m excited about.
In that context, I share with you this article about great customer service – “Bringing the Thunder” to customer service (I love that term). It’s not just doing it, it’s being rock stars while doing it. If you (or your clients) are in any kind of industry that involves customer service (and I can’t think of one that’s not), it’s definitely worth the read.
If you’re short for time today, here are the 8 ways to create “service that rocks” from the article (kudos to Jim Knight – @KnightSpeaker – for the tips):
- “Be like U2.” The band U2 has been around since the late 1970s and “everyone” knows who Bono and The Edge are. But less people know who the bassist (Adam Clayton) and drummer (Larry Mullen Jr.) are. But, “that doesn’t mean they’re less important. They contribute to the sound. In your company, everyone should be singing off the same sheet of music, and everyone has a part to play,” Knight said.
- Create and embody a guest-obsessed purpose to your business.
- People crave differentiation — “consider being unpredictable.”
- Value matters. People will pay more for a Starbucks coffee, or a Hard Rock hamburger, or a Rolling Stones concert ticket because “memorable experiences help justify the prices,” Knight said.
- “Hire rock stars, not lip syncers, to amp up the band.” Knight suggests hiring unique people with unique experiences, or the “square pegs in the round holes.” If you give them a chance, expect their loyalty in return.
- If everyone is vanilla, be the chocolate to avoid the 4-letter descriptors about your business, including “fine,” “good” and “okay.” You want more than that.
- “Create as many pluses as possible to get that mental shelf space,” Knight said. Customers should identify you in their top three favorite brands. If not, there isn’t enough that stands out about your brand to them.
- Treat each person special, like it’s their first date or their first day at work.