You’ve Got to Fight…for Your Right…to Service Excellence
My wife and I just bought a house. Throughout the purchasing process there were several parties ready and willing to financially benefit from both the buyer and the seller. And it’s so much more than just the financial transactions. We had to interact with many vendors regarding the new house and the place we were leaving behind.
In 1986, The Beastie Boys proclaimed, “You’ve Got to Fight for Your Right to Party.” This still rings true for many teenagers or young adults living with their parents. However, whether you are a B2B buyer or a consumer, the same applies to customer service. You’ve got to fight for your right to Service Excellence.
During our 3-month closing, it was a constant battle to get top-notch customer service. We won some battles and lost others. Those who won us over were either a pleasure to work with from the start or resolved issues with professionalism. As for those who defeated us, rest assured they will not see future business from us. Here are some of the experiences we had, both positive and negative:
Positive – Examples of people going above and beyond:
- A real estate agent who routinely came to us at 7pm so we could sign paperwork
- Movers who helped us get into our new home despite 3 feet of snow on the ground
- Comcast (yes, Comcast) for getting us up and running immediately despite having to improvise with a dysfunctional outlet
Negative – Vendors making promises they couldn’t keep:
- An installation vendor who made a billing-related promise they later backed out of, creating a significant strain as we approached closing
- A processor who took 4-5 days to return phone calls and emails despite saying ““I will respond within 24 hours to all email communication.” in his email signature
Fortunately, EMC customers don’t have to fight for Service Excellence. In January, the company received a 2012 Customer Experience Excellence (CxE) Award, highlighting the importance EMC places on customer experience. InFocus blogger Mary Cay Kosten recently wrote about the award and EMC’s efforts to improve the customer experience.
According to the announcement, “this award recognizes organizations for their efforts in becoming more customer-centric.” The four main values (criteria) judged by the Temkin Group’s independent panel include:
- Purposeful leadership: Leaders operate consistently with a clear, well-articulated set of values.
- Compelling brand values: Brand attributes are driving decisions about how you treat customers.
- Employee engagement: Employees are fully committed to the goals of your organization.
- Customer connectedness: Customer feedback and insight is integrated throughout your organization.
Source: Temkin Group
After the experience I just described, the second point jumps out at me. If your company’s brand values do not clearly articulate the importance of the customer experience, there’s a good chance that employees acting on your behalf will shape their own interpretation of “customer experience,” for better or worse…
“The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by EMC and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of EMC nor does it constitute any official communication of EMC.”