Customer Service, The Backbone Of A Brand

How important does your brand think customer service is?  Photo credit © Dell Inc.
How important does your brand think customer service is? Photo credit © Dell Inc.
I don’t remember the last time a marketing ad secured my loyalty, do you? I do remember all of the companies that I like giving my business to though, do you? And let me tell you, the list of companies that I like giving my business to that comes to mind instantly, is rather small. That small list of companies has great customer service, at least from my experience with them.

Marketing turns heads and grabs eyeballs
Don’t get me wrong, I remember good ads, we all do. It’s why half of us like watching the Super Bowl. When you see a clever ad on television or on the internet, or hear one on the radio it puts a smile on your face. And when an ad puts a smile on your face you remember the brand that created it. Ads are what keep brands first and foremost on your mind. Good marketing is intended to pique your curiosity enough to spur an action to visit a brand. But what happens after that? Well to put it simply, customer service takes over.

Customer service keeps them loyal
The minute someone initiates an interaction with a brand, whether it is walking into the store, calling on the phone, or sending an email, customer service is responsible for that experience. Loyalty is measured by customers returning to continue investing in a brand. Loyal customers to a brand become advocates for a brand. Think about the brands you would recommend to a friend. You’d recommend a brand based on the experience you had with the brand. It’s a really simple concept. Good customer service builds loyalty and advocacy.

The customer must be the focus of a brand for it to be successful. Therefore if customer service is responsible for the customer’s experience, it is the backbone for any brand. If you cannot take care of your customers, they will leave, making all of your marketing efforts futile as your brand quickly becomes a revolving door of customers coming and going. People are not loyal to products; they are loyal to the brands that make the products. So take care of what is the backbone of your brand, customer service.

So what I want to know is, why does it seem like customer service is the first thing to get cut or outsourced when times get rough for brands?

6 thoughts on “Customer Service, The Backbone Of A Brand

  1. Oh man! You got my blood boiling.
    Customer Service departments tend to be a company’s ghetto and I don’t know why.

    Customer service departments tend to have a lot of turnover, they’re often the first place a new college grad can get a job until they get a “real” job. Customer service departments can also be places for unskilled older people who may have been laid off from a job they’d had for a long time.

    There’s just ONE company I worked at where customer service wasn’t looked at as “those people.” They’re also paid lower and get the least training.

    But you say a lot of things I agree with in the blogpost. There have been times when I made my buying decision based on customer experiences. There’s one company that makes guitars, basses and sound equipment, and they’ll never get any more of my business. After purchasing 2 excellent products from them, their customer service was so bad that I don’t care if they gave me gold bricks, I wouldn’t own any more of their stuff.

    Conversely, with another manufacturer, when I was looking for a speaker cabinet, I called to ask some questions and was treated very well. I spent $900 with them. The other choice I was considering was $150 less, but the customer service experience had me stop my search and spend the money.

    I wish I could say why customer service is treated like a ghetto. Maybe because we don’t think about customer service as a profession where people develop skills and are asked to go around giving keynote speeches at customer service rep conventions.

    That kind of stuff is reserved for Sales Reps, Project Managers, Business Analysts, Marketing Professionals, Graphic Designers.

    The person who does make a career of Customer Service isn’t going to be the person who’s on the phone delivering customer service. Instead, they’ll be a Director or a VP somewhere looking at stats.

    1. Hi Oz, thanks for commenting! Sorry I got your blood boiling. I wish customer service wasn’t the ghetto of a company. It really should be seen as the opposite because customer service reps interact with a brand’s lifeblood (customers) everyday. I’m glad to see at least one company did right by you!

  2. It would be great if customer service was treated professionally with training, growth opportunities, etc. But that could also mean paying $80K/yr instead of $15/hr.

    Having seen so many customer service operations from the inside, I just have more compassion for the reps. They’re often caught in the middle between the public and the company, and their objectives aren’t always in line.

  3. YES! I was just going to write per the end of your post – CS people get paid low, treated poorly by the companies & yes, outsourced! Not a job I would ever do & I do agree – make or break for me many times! It is like teachers, we pay people that have an impact low wages…

    1. I think what people up at the top of the food chain don’t realize is that customer service reps talk to users everyday. If they thought about that for a minute, they’d realize how important the roles are.

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