Some service is better than no service


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Some service is better than no service

As businesses strive for efficiency I often hear the mantra ‘the best service is no service’. On the face of it, this makes sense. If the customer doesn’t have a reason to contact an organization that is good for them and good for the organization, it means there are no costs involved in dealing with enquiries.

However, let me suggest a word of caution. Imagine it gets to the point where you have reached this utopia and your Customers are no longer needed. Doesn’t this drive further commoditization? What I mean is that in today’s environment Customers can choose between who provides the better service and deals with their problems and issues in the best way. In this new world, no one would be providing that service so everyone is equal, thus driving further commoditization. With no service it means no contact. No contact means no opportunities to build Customer loyalty. No contact leaves you open to the Customer being ‘stolen’ by another company.

Let me give you an example. Intel knew that just providing a microchip as part of a computer would mean they are just a commodity and one of many components that make up a computer. Their brilliance was to recognise this and run advertisements with a great jingle that put a value on their component and the little sticker that appears on people PC’s. Suddenly ‘Intel Inside’ means that it’s good. People look out for it and bought a PC because of it.

As regular readers will know I live in two countries, the US and England. Sometimes the contrast can be interesting. For example, when buying petrol (gas) in England you drive into the forecourts, fill up and then walk inside to pay. When I do this I normally pick up something on impulse, a drink, some gum, etc and have a chat with the guy behind the counter about our local soccer team. In the US my transaction is with the gas pump! I never enter the gas station. I fill up and go. Now this is fine for me as it is quick so I am not complaining. But what this means is I am not loyal to one station, (other than through price). No relationship has been formed. They also miss out on other sales. This may have been an advantage when the gas pumps were installed but now everyone does this, that advantage has gone.

Is no service the best service? I appreciate we have some way to go before we get to this point but I think the mantra can be dangerous and perpetuate the transactional mind-set of many organizations. I believe some service is better than no service… what are your thoughts? Comments below are welcomed!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colin Shaw
Colin is an original pioneer of Customer Experience. LinkedIn has recognized Colin as one of the ‘World's Top 150 Business Influencers’ Colin is an official LinkedIn "Top Voice", with over 280,000 followers & 80,000 subscribed to his newsletter 'Why Customers Buy'. Colin's consulting company Beyond Philosophy, was recognized by the Financial Times as ‘one of the leading consultancies’. Colin is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast, which is rated in the top 2% of podcasts.


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