3 Reasons Customer Service Trumps EverythingDaymond John
Daymond John (the storied creator of FUBU who’s now so spiffily informative on Shark Tank) and I tend to cover different areas; he’s best-known for working with entrepreneurs and in mentorship, and I concentrate on customer service and the customer experience as a consultant and keynote speaker. So I was heartened to hear Daymond’s strong feelings on the subject, on “my” subject, so to speak, when we recently spoke after his Capital One mentorship event in NYC.
“Nothing,” Daymond told me point blank, “is more important than great customer service. To over-deliver in service to a customer is by far the most valuable thing to a business. Because, there are only two ways to improve the operations of a business: increase sales or decrease costs. In today’s environment, decreasing costs is hard. And as far as increasing sales, doing so via customer service is highly effective.”
Though, he stressed, for him the term customer service doesn’t mean doing the normal, the expected. By it he means going far beyond expectations, to create an emotional connection with the customer, a feeling for the customer that they’re special to you and that you absolutely have their back: ”Where your success comes from customers is as follows: When you do for the customer everything you can do after you have done what you are supposed to do.
“Obviously, you’re supposed to deliver a product service or goods to the individuals who frequent your business, but there’s nothing that you’re going to create and deliver that’s truly new in this world. At most you are going to create another position, another angle on it. Once you figure out what this is, how are you actually going to be delivering on that promise?” If you’ve gotten people to buy into your brand or services, good for you, he says, but that’s just the start. Making sure they’re happy is the rest of it–and is what ultimately matters.
There are three reasons in particular that it’s valuable to create a superior customer experience, continues Daymond.
First: ”Of course, Micah, you know this better than I do, but it is twenty times harder to acquire a new customer than it is to re-sell and upsell a current customer.” So if you do things right, “you won’t need to keep looking outside at all the other opportunities out there. Make your existing customers happy and they’ll support you until the cows come home,” which is a more effective and less risky way of doing business than always clamoring for new acquisitions and not paying much attention to the dropoff in existing customers
Second: Truly engaged customers “will be the best ambassador for your brand; they’ll be marketing that you don’t even need to pay for and that is more effective than almost any kind of marketing.”
Third: ”Loyal, engaged customers, customers with whom you actively work to make and continue a connection, are a great focus group that will not lie to you. They’re the ones who will let you know if they’re tempted to leave and jump off of your brand for various reasons, giving you enough time to fix the problems or change course before it’s too late.”