I was recently asked by one of my team how a gigantic company cannot manage to provide even satisfactory customer service?
I didn’t have an answer for him…… I can speculate that it could be a function of size - that the people who are calling the shots end up having to make broad, sweeping decisions that affect each client differently, or perhaps it could be that it’s really hard to keep their fingers on the pulse of the ever changing client experience landscape - maybe they flat out just don’t care because clients will continue to pay anyway?
Regardless of the reason, as consumers become more and more savvy (and we’re already pretty darned sharp) there will be less and less room for complacency within the market. As we begin to “vote with our dollars” more and more, companies need to look at “adjusting” their service model.
To examine a model that I am very fond of - let’s look at Boutiques:
Boutiques are focused on differentiators in the market, have a far greater commitment to ensuring that the client has a second to none experience, and while they are may even be a little more expensive than a larger retailer, they succeed.
Why? It’s in the service model. Boutiques look to differentiate themselves in the market - and realistically, if you take away the various products and services - there are common denominators in how they ALL do it….Commitment to the Client Experience in all facets - the level of experience and product knowledge, the presentation, the way that they do business, the customer service levels, etc. - It’s ALL related to the Client Experience.
Sure, the product may be a little different, or it is proposed that it is harder to find, or better quality, but at the end of the day - it’s about the experience. I’m sure I won’t hear too many arguments when I say that regardless of product, not too many people buy when faced with a negative experience from an unfriendly, un-knowledgable person. They DO, however, buy (and sometimes regardless of the cost) when faced with an extremely knowledgeable person committed to offering a positive experience.
What if everything could be like that? What if you were treated the way you are in a good boutique everywhere? You could go to your local grocers, and someone took the time to find out what you need and recommend products based on that? What if your phone company tailored a plan for your business’ specific needs and ensured that you had a second to none experience both leading up to and after the service transition? How about getting your vehicle fixed at the garage that focused on an unparalleled client experience as opposed to offering you (really) terrible coffee while you read old wrinkled magazines and wait for the bill that causes you to clutch at your chest?
Wouldn’t that be nice? Wouldn’t that be even be worth paying a little more for?
Too often do I come across a client that talks negatively about their telecom experience - how the customer service is terrible, how there’s never anyone available to answer even a simple question or even to help with an issue. And yet, they find themselves feeling like there are no alternate options available…… There are - and your dollars are your vote. Every time you spend with a vendor that offers kind of treatment, you, well, flat out allow them to get away with it.
We strive to offer a “Boutique” experience here at Planet Telecom, because we recognize that it’s what our clients want, and it’s how they want to be treated, even if it’s not what they expect from a communications company. It’s how we operate, and it’s how we build Brand Evangelists too!
So vote with your dollar, and next time you make a buying decision, why not stop for a second and ask yourself - am I getting the Boutique Experience I deserve?
If it’s not - look for a vendor that will offer you the level of service you deserve.