IT Support – the Case for Great Customer Service

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We’re an IT support outfit but you can feel free to <insert your line of business here> because at the end of the day every company that wants to generate repeatable sales (hey, that’s me!) has to deal with customer service. Yes (long pause) – business sure would be a helluva lot easier if it wasn’t for the bloody customers, wouldn’t it?

For some companies Nordstrom’s comes to mind, crazy good customer service defines who they are. Everything they do is measured against the “Prime Directive” of knock your socks off service. It is their core competency, their unique differentiator. And it’s a great definer – no one ever failed providing exemplary service. You might go extinct providing the best damned Edsel repair service on the planet but at least it isn’t because of how you’re treating your customers.

For other companies such as Costco, barely adequate service (and I’m being gracious) was never intended to be part of the deal anyway, but at least you know that going in. They have a core competency but blow you away service it ain’t. And still others crow on about how much they care when everybody knows its shameless lip service when surprise, surprise, you’re the worst company in Canada (actually you won’t be surprised, like at all)

So for those of you still reading (get to the point, man!), this is what I have come to learn about crazy good customer service: either you’ve got it or you don’t. Just saying it or wishing it was true doesn’t make it that way. Are you listening big phone company whose name rhymes with “tell us”?

So whether you bake ridiculous pies or you provide killer IT support, great customer service isn’t something you just turn on or off. It starts with a commitment at the very top. A culture that percolates down through the organization. Problem is, if it isn’t in your corporate core values, if you’re just saying it because you think that’s what they want to hear and if you say it enough times maybe you’ll bludgeon them into believing it, if it isn’t in your DNA – it just won’t come off as authentic.  You might be successful but usually only if you have the market cornered and if that ever changes, you’ll be left with a hollow promise on which you built your company and everyone will know it. Good luck with that.

So… a little a la mode with your apple pie? It’s on the house today, but only for you.