I saw a blog post a few days ago titled "Unexpectedly Awesome Customer Service from Brenthaven."
It got me thinking in a new way about an old concept: customers' expectations about the kind of service they'll receive from a given company.
As consumers, we've come to expect the quality of products to be truly outstanding, but do any of us really anticipate mind-blowing service when we call a customer service line? Customer service that makes us want to post a blog just so we can share our thrilling experience with the rest of the world?
First, it's only fair to give kudos to the company that was the subject of the aforementioned laudatory blog post. The post didn't appear on the Brenthaven website, but the company site does have a Testimonials page with more than 40 accolades from customers, so I got the feeling that this one blogger's experience wasn't an aberration.
How does your company get there? Certainly customer service training factors in, but that alone isn't enough. In my experience, customer-wowing service isn't the result of a top-down directive. It results from a spur-of-the-moment decision on the part of the employee dealing directly with the customer. In order for that to happen, a company needs a customer-facing team that's motivated, knowledgeable, creative, wise, and discerning.
One of my favorite parts of Impact's Getting to the Heart of Customer Service™ course is when front-line customer service providers are asked what they would do if given carte blanche to serve customers.
Think about it. These employees are in direct communication with customers day in and day out. Doesn't it make sense that they might have some good insights about what customers really want — not just transactionally but also emotionally?
So ask them. Utilize them. Empower them.
It could be awesome!