When it comes to business, measuring is an integral part of success. While measuring sales, marketing even web visitors is common, many businesses fail to recognize the need to measure customers service… and with good reason.
Measuring customer service is hard and quite honestly, most businesses are not created with customer service as part of their business DNA.
Customer service as part of a company’s DNA is the absolute best description of what it takes to truly deliver on the customer service front… and it’s so not mine. That phrase totally belongs to Ben Yaskovitz. It’s in Tip #4 of his latest blog post Using Great Customer Service as a Differentiator.
What an elegant, descriptive way to describe the perfect delivery of exceptional customer service.
Ben goes on to tell of his own customer service testimonials from his start up Standout Jobs.
Exceptional customer service has earned him not only testimonials but also new sign ups for the service. Obviously customer service is part of the Standout Jobs DNA.
This really contrasts with my own experience with another start up. However, a more recent and horrible tale is tole by Marketing Pilgrim Andy Beal who writes a tale of customer service gone bad with his blog post Office Depot Joins the Reputation Deadpool.
In a nutshell, Office Depot put out some ATTRACTIVE bait to capture a new customer by offering a great limited time offer of a special low-low price on a Toshiba Laptop. That’s the way it works. A a business, you entice a customer to try your product or service with an offer that is too good to resist. Office Depot even sweetened the already sweet deal by offering next day shipping. You can’t build a successful business on profit margins this thin, but it’s necessary to win new customers.
Then, as you fulfill the order, you amaze the customer. You meet or exceed their expectations with the hope of winning that customer as a steady customer for life… or at least, the next few years.
In Andy’s case, Office Depot was trying to woo him away from his “steady” office superstore, Staples. At the very least Andy expects flowers, a nice dinner and a movie. Poetry, a moonlight gondola ride and ridiculously expensive champagne would have sealed Staple’s fate as soon to be “used to be”. Instead, Andy was stood up and then sent a bill for flowers he never saw and a dinner he never ate. Andy’s devotion to Staples has grown ten fold as a result of the experience. Meanwhile, Office Depot’s brand is being drug through the streets after being tarred and feathered.
Obviously customer service is NOT part of Office Depot’s DNA.
Kelly over at Maxiumum Customer Experience writes:
Your customers are skeptical. There are customers who want you to provide delight, and then there’s this lady. Depending on your industry, there may be thousands lined up behind her. At this point she’s not looking for delight. She’ll take a discount or some other special offer, but what I heard in her voice says it’s not what she’s looking for.
She wants to know somebody at this company cares.
BRAVO Kelly!!! That’s a hit the nail square on the head kind of observation!!!
Does anyone at your company care?
Trust me, if there isn’t anyone who cares, it’s going to show. It’s surprising how a truly sympathetic ear can take the edge off of the burning rage that builds when you feel you’ve been reduced to a number.
How do you measure customer service?
Leadership Tools offers these as ways to measure customer service quality.
- Customer Attrition Ratio = number of customers leaving / total number of customers (for the same time period) – the higher the ratio, the less likely it is that your company is consistently delivering quality customer service.
- Sales Growth – your reputation precedes you. If people are still buying from you, and referring others, chances are they are happy with the service and they are loyal to your organization.
- Customer Survey Results – directly asking customers to rate the service level they receive is by far the best way to measure service quality.
- Customer Complaints – be thankful for each complaint that comes to your attention. You can only provide a thoughtful response to customer issues once you are made aware of the issue. When customer’s complain they represent not just their issue, but perhaps an issue that is affecting others.
However, it’s all for naught if customer service isn’t part of your company’s DNA. It’s cool to care about your customers. Pass it on!