Customer Service, You and Branding

By Christina Suter on Aug 22, 2015 at 05:44 AM in Business Issues
Customer Service, You and Branding

This week I'd like to discuss customer service. What does customer service mean to you? How does customer service affect your branding and the systems within your business?

One thing I'd like to begin by making clear is that customer service is not an absolute; it is not something that is done in one particular way. Thinking of customer service as an absolute can cause systems to develop that may not be appropriate for you or your business. Customer service covers how you interact with customers. From the moment a customer walks into your store or the first time they meet you.

Is it easy for your customers to reach you? What system is in place that allows a customer to contact you or someone else in your company? If you are an online business, is there a contact button on every page of your website? Is there a phone number listed to reach you?

Customer service extends to your products and/or services also. How is your product delivered? Is it easy to access? Is it easy to download? Once someone buys, how do you service them or the product, and how do you follow up? Are you easy to find? Is there email support? Do you make home visits? What are your stages of customer service?

The three components of customer service are:

1. The client’s first experience.

2. The client's experience with getting and receiving the product.

3. The support available to the client after receiving the product.

Maybe you believe in a high level of customer service, but you find that in your personal nature, you don’t have a lot of tolerance for b.s. and you can’t stand to hear complaining. If that's the case, don’t set up a customer service system that is counter to your nature. If you do, you may find that you spend all day talking to people and you don’t get your work done.

Your systems should serve you. You might be too small a business with too few employees to deliver the type of customer service you want to deliver. Or, you discover that the level of customer service you're providing doesn’t work or that it is of poor quality. If you have a high priced product, a luxury brand, a high level of customer service supports that. However, a low priced product means a lower level of customer service. People know to expect a level of service and support that is comparable to the price they pay for a product. That leads me to the final point on customer service.

Customer service and branding

Branding; are your products or services $25 or $2500? A low level of direct customer interaction should occur if you sell a low priced item. This means you make it easy as possible to get your product or service to your customer. So to be of service without spending all of your time answering customer questions, be proactive. Have a detailed FAQ on your website and offer YouTube videos with instructions on your products. If you sell one item to thousands of people, save your time and create a self-serve customer service system. On the flip side of that, a $2500 product or service should have everything the $25 product does, and in addition, you answer the phone when someone calls. You do site visits, direct sales, etc.