Customer Service: The Key to Brand Differentiation


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“It’s becom­ing more dif­fi­cult to stay ahead of your com­peti­tors with just a product-oriented dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion.” — Ed O’Boyle, global prac­tice leader of Gallup Marketplace

Accord­ing to O’Boyle, “You have to add more to the rela­tion­ship there. B2B in par­tic­u­lar, has a mani­a­cal focus on the fea­tures, prod­ucts, and deliv­ery mech­a­nism but some­times fails to rec­og­nize the strength of the rela­tion­ship that they need to build.”

Fully engaged cus­tomers, accord­ing to Gallup’s def­i­n­i­tion are those who “are strongly emo­tion­ally attached and atti­tu­di­nally loyal. They’ll go out of their way to locate a favored prod­uct or ser­vice, and they won’t accept sub­sti­tutes.” These cus­tomers were found to aver­age a 23 per­cent pre­mium over typ­i­cal cus­tomers in over­all wal­let share, prof­itabil­ity, rev­enue, and rela­tion­ship growth.

There are a num­ber of ways to cre­ate engaged cus­tomers beyond offer­ing an out­stand­ing prod­uct or ser­vice. One way, of course, is through var­i­ous forms of brand mar­ket­ing. How­ever, while a well thought-out and cre­ative mar­ket­ing cam­paign can cre­ate the strong emo­tional attach­ment needed to form a high level of cus­tomer engage­ment, cus­tomers will quickly switch from engaged to actively dis­en­gaged if they have a bad inter­ac­tion with cus­tomer ser­vice or support.

Hence the grow­ing focus many com­pa­nies are plac­ing on achiev­ing world-class cus­tomer ser­vice. By spend­ing a frac­tion of their mar­ket­ing dol­lars to improve the cus­tomer ser­vice skills of their employ­ees, pro­vid­ing their ser­vice and sup­port teams with the appro­pri­ate tech­nol­ogy to sup­port them, and mak­ing sure com­pany processes and pro­ce­dures are customer-friendly, these com­pa­nies are achiev­ing out­stand­ing results. Invest­ing in ser­vice deliv­ery will not only mea­sur­ably improve cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion and loy­alty, but also reduce oper­a­tional costs as well.

With the econ­omy begin­ning to improve, it’s time to con­sider re-allocating resources to ensure that your cus­tomer ser­vice and sup­port teams stand ready to build on your brand promise, and cre­ate cus­tomers who loudly sing your praises.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peggy Carlaw
Peggy Carlaw is the founder of Impact Learning Systems. Impact helps companies develop and implement customer service strategies to improve the customer experience. Their consulting services and training programs help organizations create a customer-focused culture while producing measurable business results. Peggy is also the author of three books published by McGraw-Hill including Managing and Motivating Contact Center Employees.


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