It’s competitive out there! VERY.
Having a great product is SUPER important but having a marketing strategy and building a brand around the product is a SUPER- DUPER important aspect of remaining competitive in the market. Along the lines of the same fact; having a great customer service department centered around a best in class customer experience is a must in today’s competitive environment and is a survival factor. But, building a brand around your best in class customer service efforts and selling it is the boost-up factor for your brand.
There are ample similarities one can observe from the masters of this art. We all know who they are; Zappos, Starbucks, Amazon, American Express & Apple to name a few. These organizations have set the bar high on delivering top notch customer service but at the same time have made conscious efforts over the years to build a brand around their customer service offerings which has helped them build their customer service as a product selling and a differentiating factor.
At the same time, there are a lot of organizations out there that have invested and established great customer service teams but have not realized the actual power and potential of what a customer centric and service brand can yield in the market place.
Once you have a stable and established customer service operations that provides superior customer experiences with minimal variation and have an internal customer centric culture, it might be the right time to build your customer service brand externally.
There are 3 key areas to enhance your customer service brand;1. Create a brand around superior customer service: What better examples for building a customer service brand than Apple care & Geek Squad. These two customer service brands have helped establish their larger organization as some of the best customer service brands and have great positive impact on their bottom line. Build a brand for your customer service, a unique identifier that perfectly tells the story of your superior customer experience.
2. Be in the news for excellent customer service, often: Brands are not built and accepted overnight, It’s critical to be in the news for all the positive reasons to build a sustainable brand over time. There are a couple of ways to be in the news and to market your customer service brand:
- Participating in reputed industry wide customer service forums and showcasing your customer service abilities helps gain respect and reputation industrywide and the participants of those forums become your brand marketers.
- Being recognized by reputed standards such as JD powers on an ongoing basis is another BIG brand booster. American express was awarded by J.D powers for 10 consecutive years in the credit card best customer service category. AMEX accepts that this played a major role in building their customer service reputation in the market.
3. Involve your customers: Talk to your customers outside of a customer service transaction. Share customer success stories with them, share how satisfied your customers are, gather a group of volunteering customers on a regular basis and get them to talk about how you can improve your customer service. This will get your customer base to start thinking and talking about your service outside of the customer service transactional interaction.
Some companies go the extra mile and share how their customer satisfaction is trending on a regular basis and have customers comment on improvement opportunities. The below example from 37Signals is an interesting one.
Sharing customer appreciations publicly is another quick win area. One negative experience can cause significant damage to the brand and in today’s social media dominated world, your brand can get negative impact quickly. It’s important that organizations share the success and positives publicly to balance some rare failures that can impact the brand.
As your organziation invests and enhances customer experiences, it’s important that your customers know about it. Above all, make your customers a part of the journey, engage them, involve them. Who else can market your product and brand than your customers.
About the Author: For more information, contact Balakarthik Venkataramanan at firstname.lastname@example.org. LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/balakarthikv.