In the name of science, dedicated solely to your education and edification, I willingly sent myself back in time. Flung through history’s aching jaw, deep into the dark belly of an aging dinosaur, I painfully ventured off into a shopping mall.
Oddly, the local mall—a relic of retail eras bygone—is the only place I can witness, first hand, the future of customer service.
Or, at least the future of customer service in the eyes of the world’s most valuable brand. The brand who began selling their interpretation on the future of hyper-personal computing (the Apple Watch) today.
An army of one, a behemoth business of 10,000, or a team somewhere in between—every company needs a distinct mission statement to define, defend and develop their culture from ideas into a thriving organization.
Regrettably, the mission statement has become a check-box task, littered with vague corporate-jargon-babble, printed and posted in the same exact spot in each identical cubicle. Resulting in an odd dichotomy of being both—utterly worthless for the company’s employees and incredibly illuminating of their hollow culture—simultaneously.
How do you talk about, and to, your customers? What phrases do you use to communicate with customers, and what do you call them behind their backs? What do you call those who help customers at your company?
Every single word you choose reflects back on your company’s culture and is an easy opportunity to steer you on a customer-centric path.
Take a lesson from Chick-fil-A who has embedded the simple phrase “my pleasure” into the DNA of their brand. The unexpected touch, more Ritz-Carlton than chicken joint (which surprise, surprise is exactly who inspired the little linguistic flourish), tops every customer service interaction with a delicious, memorable cherry.
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.