Monday, April 12, 2010

Excellent customer service is never an accident!

“Excellent customer service is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities." There are plenty of examples that we experience both inside and outside of our work environments that remind us of the "exceptional" customer experience, and the not so warm and fuzzy experience (the one you really tell everyone about) that we can learn from in order to improve our service.

When Apple released their new iPhone 3G, customers expected the phones to work. Instead, in a product launch disaster, a customer focused organization with great technical support and having customers in 22 countries was left hanging. As the PC World headline read: "Apple Loses its Shine"! Instead of exceeding customer expectations with a brand new product that wowed new users, the company failed to meet even basic expectations and jeopardized its reputation with loyal users.

Think about your loyalty quotient. To what businesses are you loyal and why? If you will take a few minutes to think about this, you may discover the link to loyalty in your own business! Is there a restaurant you regularly frequent? Why? Probably NOT because they serve good food - that is expected and many restaurants fill that need. It could be because their food is exceptional every time, the service is exceptional, and the atmosphere unique. To achieve loyalty, then, we have to surpass just being good at what we do. And, loyalty must be identified as a goal of the organization. Customer service is the key factor that helps to achieve this goal.

The challenge in today's turbulent environment for business leaders is how to set yourself apart from other service providers, and position your organization for positive growth. The simple (yet too often missed) answer is through exceptional customer service! Ultimately what determines whether a customer chooses to do business with your organization or practice versus a competitor usually boils down to you make him or her feel. Exceptional customer service is not an accident, yet a very focused, planned and well executed strategy led by customer centric leaders.

A customer centric leader understands that we need to look at service through the eyes of our customers, and look for opportunities to put a personal thumb print on each interaction we have with customers.

"Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game.
Service wins the game."

-Tony Alessandra

Sunday, April 11, 2010

About Custommerce...

Custommerce started off as an annual industry event conducted by Servion Global Solutions, to create awareness of Customer Interaction Management solutions. The objective has been to highlight the benefits one can gain in business by improving and enhancing customer response. The audience for this event has been around 250-300 executives, typically - Chief Information Technology Officers, Chief Marketing Officers and Heads of Customer Support drawn from large corporate houses across Asia Pac and the Middle East. Traditionally, Servion has been inviting captains of Indian industry to provide the keynote address - evangelizing the use of technology to enhance business response.

Custommerce today is morphing into a movement that will work towards identifying challenges facing the customer interaction / customer service industry and provide possible strategies to achieve a customer driven economy. The movement is not designed to make recommendations or draw any conclusions on the right or wrong strategy. It is solely meant to provide a platform to discuss and debate issues with industrialists and thought leaders. This platform will also allow member organizations to ‘network’ with their peers by way of discussions to gain insights into how Customer Interaction Management Strategies are implemented worldwide.