Friday, December 2, 2011

With great power comes great responsibility

A good day in the office for most of us involves meeting targets, cracking that tough code or just making sure your boss is happy. But what if your job description involves bringing a smile on a customer’s face?

Imagine walking into your favorite breakfast place in the morning and encountering a smiling staff who responds to your requests, proactively helps you and gives you top class service. On occasions such as these even the quality of the food can be overlooked to an extent. This can set the mood for the rest of your day. At the same time, I’m sure you can imagine the opposite. Not a pretty picture at all, therefore I shall not paint it.

Customer Service representatives need to realise that they have great power in their hands to lighten up a customer’s day (As seen in this video)  By doing this they can ensure loyalty to not just a tangible i.e. the product but also an intangible which is the service. Companies need to understand how strong a differentiator this can be and devise ways and means of getting their employees involved.
How can companies help set the tone for the day for a customer?


  1. Totally agree with this blog post and to what is shown in the Starbucks video mentioned here.

    But, while the video emphasises on having great customer service, the comments section paints a completely different picture. There are a lot of them bashing customers, most of them being waiters of restaurants, and don’t believe in giving good customer service.

    So here is an interesting debate – while we keep taking so much about great customer service, can customers take advantage of this and be plain rude? If ideal customer service is being talked about so much, is being an ideal customer taking a back seat?

  2. Very interesting question Satya. And relevant as well may I add?

    I totally agree with you that customers take advantage of this ‘ideal customer service’ culture and go overboard many times. Even for small things that can be easily forgiven or overlooked. But they are so empowered these days (no thanks to the ‘power’ of social media) that they don’t even need an excuse to fly off the handle. How then do you service customers in a situation like that? In a utopian situation, we can talk about ideal customer behavior. But that is something not in the control of organizations. Given how volatile the situation is, it is probably best to influence things which are in your (organization) control. Customer service for example.

    That said, if the organization feels strongly about something the customer has done / said and it goes against their DNA – irrespective of push back, they should take action. Or respond to the contrary. Disney is a good case in point. A potential employee took Disney to court because he was rejected in an interview because he did not have a nice smile. Disney took the case head on and won it! They did not back down because of the potential threat of bad / negative publicity and things like that. They did what they had to do because it was against their DNA and they would not have anyone mess with it. By doing what they did, they sent out a powerful message which not only reinforced their brand personality, but also a message that they will do what it takes to preserve it.