Friday, June 1, 2012

Customer service can save the day

Countries across Europe and Asia are reeling from the effects of a recession that had its roots in the US. Companies in these countries will instantly start looking at the various options available to them to manage the crisis. Options like layoffs, broad based pricing to target more customers and many more value draining methods come to the fore. What generally begins to suffer is always, customer service. But can, a recession, be the most auspicious moment to improve your customer service?

Southwest Airlines, Lexus and the Ritz Carlton are brands known to keep their customer service promise at the forefront even at the dullest of economic conditions. Brands must understand the value of upping their customer service game during the downturn as customers become more sensitive to prices and the way their service provider treats them. Customer morale is at its greatest low at this point. Investing in systems, processes or ideas  that can help build this morale can serve you well not only during the downturn but also post it, as customers will never forget the brand who showered them with the love they needed. We are moving into a time where customers are expecting soft brands. Brands that are more communicative, responsive and ready to speak. Research over the years has always proven that brands who commit resources to customer service during a downturn or who have always considered it a priority, come out of a recession stronger and with a loyal base of customers with negligible erosion over the years.

Learning lessons from companies who are focusing on customer service can be pivotal in dealing with a downturn. It can give many brands an edge over their competitors and create an advantage that in time will become sustainable, recession or not. A recession is the one time in the story of a brand that can help them concentrate on customer service, make it invincible to competitors and lovable to customers. So let’s start planning and acting, now! 

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