Despite America’s Customer Service Disaster, nearly every company out there claims to have ‘excellent customer service’. You see these claims all of the time. Whether it’s a branding boasting about their customer service on their website or on a television or radio commercial, it’s everywhere. It is stated with the same assuredness as the company address, phone number or web address.
Keep in mind: that’s the company talking to the outside customer. That’s not the customer claiming the company provides great service. It’s the company telling the customer. Nonetheless, that’s the way it’s done these days and by doing so, companies are missing out on 2 things:
- How they are REALLY doing with customer service.
- The opportunity to advertise in a unique and effective way that strikes a cord with the external customer and GETS THEIR ATTENTION.
Let’s review #1 first. These are companies that just automatically claim great customer service. I’m sure there is some psychology behind this (if they tell you something a certain number of times, maybe you’ll start to believe them), but we, the customers, have some news for them. They aren’t fooling anybody.
You can’t trick the customer just by claiming great service.
The customer already knows what kind of service you provide but businesses today don’t seem to get this. They seem to think an effective, self-laudatory advertising campaign is more effective even if the company service level is terrible. It’s the laziest form of advertising one can achieve.
Two prime examples of this are Delta Airlines and Spectrum Cable. Their common denominator is abysmal service and lofty, hush-toned ads with advocates like the haughty-voiced Donald Sutherland. How in the devil do they think those melodious ads overcome the brand and image of the company’s true performance?
I must tell ya, some advertising executive did one hell of a sales job. If you really, really want to know the level of customer service your staff or company provide, it’s not hard to do but before I spill the beans, I’ll warn you that you’re probably not going to like what you see.
Call your company under an alias and see how you are treated. See what kind of smile your people have on their voice. See if their natural urge to please is present. Make a purchase on the website and see how that goes.
If you’re lucky it won’t go well and then you will see how your team does in battle when it really counts. There is no better ‘secret shopper’ than the guy that owns or manages the company, unless it is a caring member of the team that will give it to you straight. A customer service evaluation, well-authored to bring an honest dialogue from the external customer is effective as well BUT not as effective as doing it yourself.
Now let’s talk about #2. The opportunity. Here it is:
TELL THE TRUTH.
As previously stated, the customer already knows the score. She/he will be surprised and appreciative of a contrite, conversational ad campaign. One that goes something like “we have listened to you, the customer, and have found a way to serve you better.”
That would knock the socks off the buying public and make all the other ad competitors look …………….. sillier than they already do. It is not magic. It’s common sense and listening to the customer, not the advertising agency. Domino’s did it. And they had a LONG way to go.