I have just been on the phone to my Internet service provider. I called them to enquire about adding a new service to my account. I waited patiently for 15 minutes, before hanging up and calling one of their competitors. I started off wanting to spend more money with a service provider and 15 minutes later, I was giving my account to their biggest rival; who answered my call within 20 seconds!
The interesting thing here, was that all the while I was hanging on the line, a recorded announcement assured me that my call was important and that they were “doing everything possible” to answer my call. (With the obvious exception of picking up the receiver!)
They lost my business and I’m guessing they will lose lots more, unless they improve things very quickly.
Sadly, many companies fail to live up to the promises in their marketing. Every business I have ever studied promises to ‘go the extra mile,’ yet as we all know, great customer service is all too rare. It’s so rare that when we experience great customer service, it REALLY stands out and gives the companies that provide it a huge, competitive advantage.
That’s why companies like Apple and Zappo’s have been able to develop a strong reputation for offering great service. They work really hard to ensure that what they promise and what they deliver are the same or that the service you receive is even better than you expected.
In other words, they gain a massive advantage in the marketplace, by simply doing what everyone else promises to do!
I think we can all benefit, by taking time-out to ensure that we are fulfilling OUR marketing promises. More than that, we need to constantly look out for new ways to increase the value of our services to the marketplace.
If we don’t, someone else will!