The Tailored Experience: Why Customer Service Is Your New Product

Your client except customer service that is catered and tailored specifically to them. No matter what your business, you're also in the customer service business now. 

What do you sell? What do you create? What products or services are you putting out in the world? Why do people use you. For most businesses, this is a pretty clear answer (and if it isn’t, your business might have some problems). But is the clear answer the right one? More and more, the answer to the question is “Customer service.”

That’s right: customer service is no longer ancillary to your business, but instead its primary driver.

That has less to do with your organization and more to do with the market. People expect tailored, individualized, organic interactions with the brands they choose, and a level of service that makes use of the product easy and intuitive. They expect cross-platform support. If they don’t get that, the benefit of the product is lessened, regardless of its quality.

In many cases, poor service can outweigh what you consider to be your product, and you can lose clients because of it. Because of this, in a very real way, you have to become a customer service company. You’re in the business of providing an experience to your customer whether you know it or not. Your customers know it. That means you have to catch up or lose out.

Good Food, Bad Service: The Restaurant Analogy

When you are looking for a place to eat, more and more, you probably use a service like Yelp! And you probably have your own system for choosing based on stars. I know a lot of people who see a three-star review and place that in the “last resort” category. Four or five stars only. After all, three stars is just...mediocre.

Not a great waiter

It doesn’t matter how good the food is. You’re not going back here.

But what is mediocre about it? Generally, everything is kind of off, right? That’s not always the case. Researchers Trevor Martin and Ryo Kita did an analysis of Yelp reviews for restaurants, checking keywords of hundreds of thousands of reviews, and found some interesting material. They discovered that one out of every 20 was a GFBS place--that is, Good Food, Bad Service.

5% might not sound like a lot. But think about it. How many more restaurants could be 4-or-5-star places if they had better service? How much opportunity is lost for those restaurants? Because, after all, food is the primary concern at a restaurant. Their product is literally food. But even great food isn’t enough to give them a good review if the service part is trash.

Now, you might say, waiters are integral to a restaurant in a way that an analogous position isn’t in your company. But is that true?

The Restaurant Model and the Bespoke Experience

When you are at a restaurant, you order what you want. You choose the food, you choose the drink, you choose the desert. They have the food you get to choose from, but you personalize your experience. The staff is there to facilitate the transaction between what the restaurant offers and what you want. And that’s the model of the whole current economy.  After all…

  • 75% of customers are more likely to buy from companies that remember their name, order history, and preference.  (Accenture)
  • 74% of customers get annoyed when website content isn’t personalized (Infosys)
  • 77% of customers pay more for a brand that offers personalized service (Forrester)
  • 78% only are interested in offers if they have been personalized based on previous experiences (Marketo)

These are a lot of folks who all want one thing: interaction that is based on what they want and need. You already do that with sales and marketing, I’m sure. Going to see Tonja and XYCorp and not knowing what she does there, what their business really does, or even remember if you had talked to her a lot is a good way to not get a sale.

So why don’t we do that more in customer service? We’re getting better at personalizing ourselves, but businesses don’t always realize how important it is to offer a bespoke experience based on previous history and needs. This is easier to do now than ever, thanks to AI and other technologies, which can analyze consumer trends for increased personalization. It is about leveraging cross-platform connectivity to allow consumer and clients access at all time, anticipating needs, and preemptively solving problems.

But more than technology, it is a matter of perspective. Are you prepared to treat customer service as your product? Is your company ready for that? Do you need to look for a proven third-party vendor with excellent agent retention rates?

Over the next few weeks, we’ll continue to look at these issues in depth. Customer-service-as-service is a huge shift for most companies. We’ll explore what it really means, and help make it a vital part of your business

RDI-Connect is your full-service call center and customer care partner. We combine cutting-edge technology with superior hiring and training procedures to give your organization the support it needs. Your success is ours. To learn more about how we can partner with you, please connect with us today.

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RDI Corporation was founded in 1978 and is headquartered in Blue Ash, Ohio. We provide precise business solutions through a fully integrated outsourcing model and our clients ranged from mid-sized corporations to distinguished Fortune 500 companies.