The Problem: A Gap is Growing Between Customer Service and Your Brand
In the era of devices that stay connected to the Internet, it is easier for customers to compare the promises of business’ brand to the reality.
Because of this pressure, businesses have to step up their game. Modern businesses can no longer please customers with call centers that feature lengthy wait times, complicated phone options, or rude customer service representatives.
Customers have options and they are exercising those options. They post their complaints online for the world to see on social media, blogs, and websites. They record customer service calls, complain about your business in forums, and influence your business’ reputation for good or bad through word-of-mouth marketing.
What to Read in April: “Experience My Brand” by Joe Tawfik
Knowing how to navigate this new world of growing customer power and influence can be difficult. As a business, you know what kind of experience you want your customers to have. How do you translate that into reality?
“Experience My Brand: How Successful Companies Develop Loyal Customers and Increase Profits” by Joe Tawfik promises to help with that. The book, argues that businesses are focusing on the wrong things when they do “customer service”. These businesses aren’t creating a consistent and valuable experience. They are just offering “service”, which leaves a gap in the customer’s mind between what the customers expect and what they actually receive.
The Big Idea in “Experience My Brand”: Businesses Need to Offer More Than “Customer Service”
Many business owners probably want to know what changed. Why doesn’t ordinary “customer service” work? All businesses need is a customer service “department”, right? know ”. Why do you have to worry about online reviews, social media, and more? Why you do you have to create “experiences”?
“Experience My Brand” answers that question. In the book, Tawfik argues that your business brand can’t hide behind slick ads, funny commercials, or a PR campaign. If getting customers were as easy as creating a funny commercial or PR campaign, things would be easy.
Ask a sales person or marketing. It’s not that easy.
Customers buy with their wallets, but they also buy with their hearts. They buy products that make them feel better, happier or nostalgic. A business that is able to connect with their customers on a deeper level will find it easier to keep customers over the long-term.
Key Themes From “Experience My Brand”
The bulk of “Experience My Brand” is about transforming a customer service management perspective to a customer experiment management perspective. Here are 5 major insights that you will find in the book:
- Customer service is more than a department. It involves everyone in your business.
- Stop focusing too much on metrics that don’t matter. Some businesses will spend an excessive amount of time focusing on the short-term cost of a customer service representative’s cubicle instead of focusing on the big issues like customer acquisition and retention rates.
- Go beyond customer service surveys. Relying on customer feedback through surveys doesn’t help your business understand the new customer service experience. Check social media, Yelp, and Google alerts to see what customers and everyone else is saying about your business.
- You can’t fix bad customer service with “marketing” or more “sales”. Many business owners take a piecemeal approach to their business. If they are losing customers, they may increase their marketing budget or try to upsell more stuff to current customers. Approaching your business in this way may help temporarily, but it won’t help in the long-term. A better approach is to take a comprehensive view of your business
- Consistency is better than “WOW”. There has been a trend in customer service focusing on creating “Wow” moments where frontline employees went above and beyond the call of duty to help a customer. This is wonderful, but it misses the point. If frontline employees have to go above and beyond to help their customers, what is “ordinary” customer service at your business?
- Customer service does not end. Many businesses assume that customer service ends with a good survey or a happy customer. It is actually the beginning. The goal of customer service, as shared in the book, is to develop lifetime customers.
Additional Resources on Branding & Customer Service
Twitter Accounts to Follow
- Joe Tawfik, author of “Experience My Brand: How Successful Companies Develop Loyal Customers and Increase Profits” (@joetawfik)
- Micah Solomon, author of “High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service: Inspire Timeless Loyalty in the Demanding New World of Social Commerce” and “Your Customer Is The Star: How To Make Millennials, Boomers and Everyone Else Love Your Business” (@micahsolomon)
- Jonathan Herrick, Bizapalooza chat guest, and founder of a small business CRM (@JonathanHerrick)
- Jeanne Bliss, author of “Chief Customer Officer: Getting Past Lip Service to Passionate Action” (@jeannebliss)
DIY Marketers Articles
- Reigniting the Flame: Learn How to Get Your Old Customers Back
- 10 Tips On How to Attract More Profitable Customers
- How to Win Customers by Listening to People
- How to Use Customer Frustrations to Get Them to Choose YOU
Bizapalooza Chats (Twitter chats) with audio replay