I’m crazy for great customer service. It’s what I promise anyone who does business with me and it’s an important factor for me in choosing where I spend my money.
I know one of my pet peeves is shared by a lot of people – crappy customer service. Spending your hard earned dollars and being treated with indifference. People who act surprised when you expect them to do what they said they would, when they promised. I mean, how hard is it really? You’re committed or you’re not.
How can you give your customers a great experience? How do you make them feel valued and important? How can you tie that into your business and your unique selling proposition (USP)? Is it something you care about? Could you use that to set yourself apart? If it is something you care about – it’s a killer USP because so many people just flat-out don’t get it or don’t care, or both!
Recently I needed some new people to outsource web and graphic design to. I put an ad on Craigslist and was promptly flooded with resumes, websites and samples. My first pass was for the style I was looking for; my second pass was for customer service. In this case I was looking for people who could commit to a deadline and stick to it and who really cared about doing it with a great attitude and were easy-going. Finding great style was easy –great customer service was much harder to find.
I didn’t end up choosing the people whose work was the least expensive, although many people put that front and center as their USP – they would get the job done for less. I tried one of those for-less guys –his customer service was great – for about a week. After the first job he suddenly lost his interest in being diligent and had a real attitude. Another ‘price guy’ disappeared. Apparently he was cheap for a reason.
The people I ultimately chose and am working with and will continue to bring my business to are the ones who deliver great quality when they say they will with a great attitude in the bargain.
OK – I admit it – I deeply value doing what I say I will and others who do the same – it’s hard for me to work with people who don’t. People who don’t drive me nuts. Even people I really like. Even if they’re friends. It’s become a USP for me – my clients know they can count on me to deliver great marketing copy – on time and with no prima donna attitude. Ultimately, they’re always right. Reminds me of a question we ask a lot around here: Would you rather be right or be happy? For me, it’s happy.
If killer customer service is something you value, think about using it as part of your marketing platform – you’ll really make yourself stand out and get more business from the kinds of people you want as clients. It’s win-win.