Great At Delivering Service? Tell Everyone About It!


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This morning I commented on a blog from the Harvard Business Review about “Understanding Customer Experience” written by Adam Richardson. He tries to define what Customer Experience is as well as to document steps to design the experience. He cites the usual suspects when describing companies that get it right–Zappos, Southwest Air, Google, etc.

This list got me thinking. Why do we always go to these companies when listing great service providers? How do companies break through to be viewed as “legendary?” I have cited Zappos, and yet I have never bought a pair of shoes from them. I have purchased numerous items from (Zappos new parent) and have been very impressed with them, but they rarely make the same list. Why?

Here is my comment:

I think part of the reason that Zappos, Southwest and others are consistently cited as being prime examples of delivering premier customer experience is because the companies themselves tell you that they are. It is part of their image campaign that starts at the top and cascades down the organization. Even our mentioning those companies enhances their image.

One company I worked for years ago improved its customer satisfaction scores on an industry survey by writing a timely letter to its customers reminding them of the great job our firm was doing for them. In short, we gave them the words that they then echoed on the survey. The result–improved scores.

Companies that “full body commit” to their strategy and service image are more likely to gain this reputation. Have I had the same bad experiences flying Southwest as I have had at Delta? Sure. But I give Southwest the benefit of the doubt for a bad experience or two because I am bombarded with messages telling me they are great.

I would encourage any company that commits internally to designing a premier customer experience (which is vitally important) to spend as much time thinking through the external portrayal of their services. And then to aggressively play offense. If you keep telling me that you are the best, I might believe it, and maybe even tell my friends.

–Christopher W. Myers

My View

You can read the blog here:
I think, in addition to providing great service, these companies also market themselves as service champions. When you go on the Zappos website, there are dozens of reminders that are in your face telling you about their great service. From awards to customer testimonials to bumper stickers saying “I heart” They tell you they are great, and then we believe them.

Then bloggers and business writers and academians pick up the torch and run with it, citing the extraordinary service.

When companies decide to make the journey to becoming a premier service provider, and commit to designing a uniquely satisfying customer experience, they also need to commit to an aggressive campaign to tell everyone about it. That is almost as important as delivering the experience.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Christopher Myers
Benefits Services Consulting
For more than 2 years, Chris Myers has designed and managed industry leading Employee Benefits service organizations. His passionate and innovative approach to service is widely recognized in the benefits field. His "Perfect Service" approach was created in 21 and within two years improved his company's satisfaction ratings to the top of the industry.


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