Customers are always looking for differentiating factors between different products and services available in the market. In many industries today, like insurance, car rentals and personal computers, the products are getting more and more standardized. They have the same look and feel, similar terms and conditions and in most cases, the same price tag. In such industries, to locate a differentiating factor is very difficult. Some factors which were previously not taken that seriously can now play a more important role in affecting the customers’ buying decision. One of such factors is customer service.
Customer service has always been a very important factor to ensure long term success in any industry. But normally, customer service is something that comes under the radar when something goes wrong with the product, or in other words, after the product is already bought. We can draw an interesting parallel between customer service and product design. When the design of something is not upto the mark, it is noticed, but when the design is good, it is taken to be as expected and goes unnoticed. Similarly, if the customer service is bad, people notice it and talk about it, but if it is good, it is taken to be granted. It is the job of the company to expose this good customer service and make sure people consider it before making a buying decision.
There are several ways to expose customer service. With the growing interaction between customers and companies through new mediums like blogs, newsgroups and message boards, it is becoming easier then ever to expose customer service. Another very effective way to expose customer service is through advertisements. It’s true that many companies advertise in order to create brand awareness, but along with that, advertisements should also be used to highlight factors that may be able to influence the customers. Something that the customer can remember when making a buying decision. Something that can put your product above the competing products. If your company has the customer service that can play this crucial role, make sure you bring it up in your advertisements.
One company that does a stellar job in advertising customer service is Avis. Avis has designed everything from its tagline (We try harder) to television commercials around its customer service. The car rental company tries to make sure that they communicate to the customers that it will put extra effort to provide the best customer service. Another company that falls under this league is Dell Computers. Customer Service at Dell is exposed right from the moment the customer thinks of buying a computer. Dell makes sure they communicate to the customer that the computer they make is made just for you. Dell commercials and the company blog does an excellent job in to expose both their pre-purchase as well as post-purchase customer service to the customers.
The unique thing to notice about these companies is that they are highly customer focused and they make sure the customer realizes that. They have great customer service divisions and they make sure that the customer takes customer service into account while making the buying decision. No matter which industry your company falls under, you should put in great effort to join this league by following these two steps – first, provide great customer service to your customers, and second, advertise customer service, make sure you communicate to the customer that customer service is an important thing and you are the best option available out there.