If you follow the news at all, you are probably well aware by now of the massive data breach that sent retail giant Target spiraling into a public relations crisis from which it has yet to emerge. As you may also know, the company has taken almost as much flak for the difficulty shoppers had reaching customer service—and the treatment they received from call center agents once they did—as it did for the intrusion itself.
Here at Content Boost, we write often about the importance of customer service, the impact it has on consumers and a brands image. In thinking about and discussing Target’s predicament over the past few days, I thought a lot about how companies distinguish themselves as customer service leaders. As they often do, my thoughts turned to golf.
I really love golf. Perhaps my favorite of all the courses I have played is Caledonia Golf and Fish Club on Pawleys Island, South Carolina. Built on land that once served as a rice plantation, the layout is visually spectacular and the course itself immaculately manicured.
A few years ago, I played Caledonia with my father, also an avid golfer, and he fell for the course in much the same way I did the first time I visited. We’ve reminisced fondly about that round many times over the past several years, and my dad has consistently mentioned two things about the experience. In addition to praising the course itself, he inevitably remarks that they did a better job cleaning his clubs after the round than anywhere else he’d ever been—and he hadn’t even asked anybody to do it. Years after the fact, that detail still stands out to him.
This may seem like an obscure story, but it actually illustrates perfectly the power of the customer experience. When your representatives do just a little more for the consumer or offer something extra that a competitor doesn’t, it can leave an impression that lasts far longer than you might realize. If you still need convincing, take a look some numbers from a Zendesk report on customer service:
- Fifty-two percent of survey respondents said a good customer experience led them to purchase more from the company
- Twenty-four percent of respondents continue to seek out a vendor for two or more years after good experiences
- Consumers ranked customer service as the most important factor impacting vendor trust
Whether you are a golf club in South Carolina, a medium-sized IT firm or a corporate retail giant, keep in mind that what may seem like a tiny gesture to your agents might be huge for the consumer on the other end. When it comes to customer service, no detail is too small.