Extraordinary customer service built all the brands we know and love: Google, Zappos, Amazon, Singapore & Qatar Airlines, and Trader Joes & Whole Foods. Nordstroms, for example, even outlines upfront in their employee manuals that they are all about extraordinary customer service through and through. Extraordinary customer service has been proved to build brands, strengthen already good brands and significantly improve revenues.
Whether you're an solopreneur, an small business owner, or the CEO of a large conglomerate customer services plays a role in your success. Would you believe that McDonalds is very interested in good customer service and does a very good job at it? How about that Singapore, Qatar and Virgin Airlines profits are tied to their (high) level of customer service? What about that (for regular consumers) Comcast & Time Warner are ranked as 3rd and 2nd of the worst companies for customer service (according to Business Insider)?
The City Chicago and Cook County have been going down the drain in recent years. It's not because of higher crime or anything like that. Actually, Chicago is getting safer and cleaner! The problem is that Chicago is in Cook County and both are putting in rather anti-consumer and anti-people and anti-business ordinances into place which is literally forcing people out. Cook County and Chicago are ranked near the top of places in America with the sharpest population decline. All because of poor customer service, poor treatment of it's clients (the residents) and poor ways it handles the issues we residents have.
When people talk about Costco it's usually one of three things. It's either:
1) I'm going to Costco do you need anything? 2) Why on earth would someone pay a membership to buy things? 3) I love Costco.
Do you know why many people love Costco?
It's partially it's large of amount of free food you can taste on weekends, the cheap (priced) food at the concession area and the large selection of decently high quality products. Though the other part is their real commitment to extraordinary customer service. You've got an issue? They'll take care of it … usually. Want to return a product after using it for 11 months? Sure, no problem. Need help finding anything anywhere in any Costco? “That's what we're here for,” as one store manager told me. They have also invested heavily into treating their employees extremely well and giving them a lot of support. This in turn means they are very much so motivated to make sure you're having an awesome experience at Costco. It's their extraordinary customer service that puts them at the top.
Zappos, the ecommerce company that started by selling shoes, is well known in the business world for their absolute, unwavering and crazy amazing extraordinary customer service. They even test potential hires on their moral choices and decisions BEFORE they are hired. Why? Because they want to only employ those who truly are committed to high standards, quality service and improve the lives of those around them. When their story got into the news, the story spread like wild-fire and the companies reputation (and value) soared.
Now let's take an example at something you'll actually expect: The Ritz Carlton. The high end hotel chain. You are their first priority. Pretty much anything (reasonable) you need, they'll make it happen. You need help, you'll get it. Everything there is crafted so that your stay is absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, extraordinarily awesome and good. Exemplary customer service is their business and that's why they get paid well for it.
As a local business, your business is based not so much about product … but more about you as a person and your employees. If you treat your local residents well, they will in-turn treat your business well. As an example, a local coffee shop just opened up. As an opening PR piece, they announced they were hiring back all the employees that were fired from Caribou that was closed in that location. They paid well, they treated the community well with out reach programs and events, and they treat you very well in all situations in (and out) of the cafe. With a pro-consumer mentality, they've won the hearts of our local city and is now the most visited coffee place around. And no, they are NOT center to anything. It's actually a little bit out of the way, the parking kinda sucks and it's easy to miss the cafe if you aren't looking for it (local city ordinance making it impossible to have easily visible signs). Even with all they: the locals love them.
Extraordinary customer service builds (and boosts) your brand by making customers love you, talk about you and drive more traffic to your doorstep naturally. It's been proven time and time again that it's true. So if you don't do it yet, you should.
Question: What are your experiences with extraordinary customer service?