How to celebrate National Customer Service Week – and how not to…

By APSIS

2014-10-08

So, it’s National Customer Service Week this week!
 
This will undoubtedly come as a shock to the pizza restaurant that treated myself and my colleagues with such unnecessary rudeness, that it prompted me to take to Twitter to lambast their – yep, you guessed it – customer service.
 
As a marketer myself, I understand why the customer has to come first, and I analyse each and every personal retail experience against what are probably fairly high benchmarks and standards. Customer Service Nirvana is difficult to achieve – rarely do I walk out of a shop or restaurant feeling utterly amazed at the euphoria that my experience has provided. Yet rarely should I need to complain about it across social media, and customer services representatives will do well to remember that such weaponry is freely available to each and every customer today.
 
So what happened? Well, the company’s social media strategy and execution is clearly more in tune than the waiters and waitresses ‘in-store’. The negativity of my online ‘mention’ was sensed early on, acknowledged, transferred to a more private space (email) and resolved with a kind offer of the mythical ‘free lunch’ as recompense. I now like them again. Nice swerve, pizza restaurant!
 
The point? My colleagues and I would probably fall into the ‘regulars’ category. We attend as frequently as our belt buckles will withstand, but we probably shout about it more. We tell friends, clients, who tell their friends and their clients. We are brand advocates. Customer service is about empowering the people on the front line.
 
What if, before we walked in, the waitress was informed of our potential social influence, our regular custom? Would she have behaved differently? What if you could not only know more about your customers, not only collect and collate this information, not only act on it as part of your digital marketing initiatives, but empower your ground staff to do the same?
 
Real-time, actionable customer data. Now there’s a thought.
 
This post was written by Martin Wallace.

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