John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

Turning a Customer Service Crisis into Customer Service Revolution
June 23, 2009, 7:50 pm
Filed under: What's the Secret?

During the past few years, we have seen more than enough corporate cost-cutting, stock market blues, layoffs, and outsourcing of departments to the lowest bidder. As a result, customer service is at such an all-time low that if customer service is not horrible, consumers are relieved!

You can have a great product, but it takes world-class service to create loyalty and brand evangelists.

Many organizations in corporate America are starting to realize that one of the few ways to create long-term brand security is by differentiating themselves through service.  Customers are tired of tolerating inferior customer service. If it is true that “the better the service, the less price becomes an issue,” then it is equally true that, “the worse the service, the more price becomes an issue,” meaning that if you constantly drop the ball and do nothing to make things right for the customer, then no one will want to do business with you even if you are the lowest price around.

Customers are savvy today, and they realize that poor customer service can be costly when you factor in the R.O.H. (Return on Hassle).  It’s the additional time to return something, calling customer service three times, fuming on the phone waiting in queue hoping to get an answer or a resolution, and the added stress related to unnecessary issues. Customers realize it would have been cheaper to pay more for something and have it be done right the first time. Companies cannot always fall back on “We are the lowest price, therefore good service should not be expected.”

Despite people’s expectations, the bar is so low today that businesses have a truly fantastic opportunity to gain a superior competitive advantage. Whatever your business – retail, hospitality, or business-to-business – it has never been easier to exceed the customer’s expectation by delivering a memorable experience. The few companies that have realized this and make their value proposition “service,” are seeing the R.O.I.  It is a fact that the companies that execute at a higher level of customer service have lower employee turnover, higher customer retention, increased average tickets, higher prices, more referrals, and ultimately make price less relevant.

World Class is not a hat you put on and take off. It is something you are to your customer, co-workers, at home, and in your community.

There is, in fact, a customer service revolution going on.  I have never been as excited as I am now.  Several companies in Northeast Ohio truly “get it” and it is paying off.  If you are looking to create a World-Class customer service organization, then follow the lead of companies that have decided to NOT compete on price, but instead create relationships with their customers, sell experiences and be a total resource for their customers.
Their systems are transferable to any industry.  They are making price irrelevant!

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