If you plan to thrive in the era of the customer, now is the time to improve your customer service. Regardless of how your customers view you today, to position your brand for the future you first need to examine your company culture and ensure customers are properly considered, i.e. squarely in the center.
Instead of waxing philosophical about the value of a customer-centered culture and its power to revolutionize your customer service, let’s look to and learn from real-world examples.
Let me introduce you to 10 of the best customer service organizations in the world.
These beloved brands, who have each built their company around a strong customer-centric culture, will be our guide. As a direct result of their similar cultures, these companies share a relentless dedication to delivering exceptional customer service with each-and-every interaction.
Good riddance 2014 and hello 2015.
A new year, new beginnings, an opportunity to reflect on the past year and set goals for the next one, and in the case of this year—the year horrible customer service finally dies.
I truly believe as customers the worst is behind us. We have survived the peak (or perhaps more fittingly the trough) of poor customer service, and we are winning the war.
Because you are a consummate overachiever and haven’t read enough year-in-review lists yet, I bring good tidings—and one more list—to you and yours on this final day of 2014.
These moments, though painful to relive, are important to remember so we can avoid repeating the same awful mistakes in 2015, or, for the sake of humanity, ever.
Initially I planned to rank a list of the 10 lowest lights, but compiling and comparing these sad moments was too sadistic a task for me. After all, it is the holiday season, and it simply wasn’t worth risking the sweet deliciousness of my grandmother’s homemade peanut brittle on a vomit-inducing session of sadness. As a result you will find, in no particular order, a smattering of suckitude from the past year in customer disservice.
We all know that guy.
When he first burst on your social circle’s scene, he was a refreshing change of pace. He was cool. He shared great stories. He whisked you to awesome, hidden spots for the best tacos. It felt like he unlocked an unmatched freedom to do, to be, to explore.
But it didn’t stop there.
He kept pushing, insisting on himself, inserting himself into the center…of everything. He inflated his own ego to a point where he artificially increased his own gravity.
Then he starts hijacking every conversation, ensuring everyone within earshot knows he has actually been to [insert exotic location you dream about visiting] and it wasn’t as awesome as [insert obscure location]. When your friends will get together, it must be on his terms. Everything is required to revolve around him.
Where once your social circle was built around relationships, over time it will all become about him.
Thankfully, as quickly as he appeared he will be gone. Having outgrown your social scene, he will find a new, bigger, better, more connected, wealthier group to commandeer. Read more
By now, you’ve probably heard the call that hijacked the Internet last week. If not, let me warn you. It is painful – incredibly painful. And while I do feel awful for the customer, ultimately, the cancellation call from hell breaks my heart for a shocking reason.
Listen to it again, and try not to empathize for the hapless agent and his cringe-inducing commitment to the Comcast way. This poor soul morphed, in eight short minutes and one tweet, from internal hero (revered and rewarded for his ability to continually face-off against tough odds and win) into the saddest character in a modern-day tragedy. Thankfully, like all great tragedies of the stage, we can heed the warnings and reap the rewards of lessons that become apparent.
First, let me frame the scene. On one side of the phone we have Ryan Block, famous tech journalist (founder of gdgt and founding editor of Engadget), and on the other we have a nameless cog in the massive machine of horrible customer service that is commonly known as Comcast. As in all tragedies, ultimately both players become victims of a larger, more devious force. Read more
Dear Newark Airport Express,
Not that you care, which you made glaringly obvious during our interactions, but your customer service sucks. Actually, sucks is far too generous. Let me see if I can dig up an adjective to accurately describe your “customer service.” Insipid, deprived, anemic… those aren’t quite painting the picture either.
Let’s try this on, Newark Airport Express (operated by Coach USA), whatever the opposite of customer service is – customer disservice? – you dominate that game and will be in contention for the top spot at this year’s most miserable event, the World Cup of Dissatisfaction. Pay attention, Time Warner Cable and Comcast. While your impending supernova of awful customer service might swallow us all, you’re gonna have to fight to take down these buses if you want the trophy.
To those with customers, I beg you to take note. While I don’t have the secret recipe to amazing customer service, I can point you in the right direction (the exact opposite route Coach USA takes) of the most important ingredient. It’s the same ingredient on which many of our most beloved brands base their signature sauce.
Boiled down to the basics, customer service is all about delivering happiness to your customers. So if you only take one thing away today, remember that screaming at paying customers, refusing to offer solutions, threatening missed flights, and making a whole bus full of customers uncomfortable at 5:30 a.m. (all before ever leaving the stop) isn’t recommended. Read more