Intro by Skip Cohen
The fun of this industry has little to do with photography directly but the friendships that come out of everyone’s love for the craft. But we’re about to add a twist to the craft with our newest author, Shep Hyken.
Four years ago, I shared a great quote about customer service on Twitter. It was by Shep Hyken, who I didn’t know but loved what he wrote. He hit the like button and commented. That led to me calling him – after all, most of us share quotes from icons no longer living. Well, he couldn’t have been more approachable.
Since then, he’s been on two different podcasts I host with Chamira Young, and I’ve joined him on his podcast. We even caught up for breakfast on my last trip to St. Louis.
Shep’s permitted me to share some of his past posts, and I’m excited about this new direction for content about one of the most critical aspects of your business today – CUSTOMER SERVICE. In the months ahead, I’ll be sharing posts in just about every aspect of building a solid customer-centric brand!
I chose this post today because it’s about one of the most important ingredients to building customer loyalty, consistency. It’s also a key to Marathon’s success over all the years I’ve been a customer!
So, grab a coffee and enjoy Shep’s first addition to the Marathon blog.
By Shep Hyken
There is an old saying in the real estate industry: The three keys to success are location, location and location. I have a similar take on the customer service and customer service world. The three keys to customer experience success are consistency, consistency and consistency.
Of course, there is much more to delivering an amazing customer experience, but if there is something that is non-negotiable to creating customer loyalty, it is a consistent and predictable experience – one that customers can count on every time they do business with you. The entire experience must be consistent. You can’t be great one day and just okay the next. The moment there is inconsistency, you start to lose the customer’s confidence, and ultimately you might lose the customer.
So, let’s talk about the different ways an organization delivers a consistent experience.
- The quality of the product or service must be consistent. Whatever the company sells must meet the expectations of the customer, every time. It doesn’t matter how good your customer service is, if the product doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, the customer will find another company that better meets their needs.
- The different channels customers interact with you and your organization must be consistent. Today’s customers connect with the companies they do business within multiple ways. The traditional way a customer communicated with a company was in person or on the phone. Then along came emails, then chat, then chatbots. And, then there are social channels and other messaging apps. This is all part of the digital revolution, and the modern customer expects to have a consistent experience regardless of the channel.
- The attitude of the people who work at the company must be consistent. I’m not suggesting that everyone be a clone of each other. It is the positive attitude and the effort the employees make to take care of their customers that must be consistent. It shouldn’t matter if the customer talks to John one day and Jane the next, everyone comes to work with the plan to do their very best, every day. Regardless of who picks up the phone or responds to a message, the customer will always have a good experience.
When customers talk about the consistent company, they will say things like, “They are always so helpful.” Or, something like, “They are always so friendly and knowledgeable.” When they use the word always followed by something positive about the company, you know there is consistency. Delivering a consistent experience creates confidence. Confidence can lead to trust. And, trust leads to potential loyalty.
©MMXVII Shep Hyken – Used with permission.