In the marketing world, a brand is so much more than a mere logo or symbol. It is the intangible sum of a product's attributes: its name, packaging price, history, reputation, and customer experience. It represents every touchpoint in a company or organization. Every individual that encounters a customer or client can make (or break) the brand.
Quality customer service means going beyond what's expected, adding value to the customer experience. When you under-promise and over-deliver, your customers will come back, rave about you, tell others, and be your best friend—as long as this behavior and attitude is consistent.
Armand Feigenbaum, one of the original quality gurus, who is famous for his 1961 book Total Quality Control: Engineering and Management, provides this definition:
Quality is a customer determination based upon a customer's actual experience with a product or service, measured against his or her requirements—stated or unstated, conscious or merely sensed, technically operational or entirely subjective—and always representing a moving target in a competitive market.
Why provide quality customer service?
When you provide quality customer service, you help connect the dots for your company' or organization's brand. It's part of your brand promise, stated or not. Meeting or exceeding your customers' expectations gives your company credibility and helps build its reputation in your market.
You have a better chance of retaining your customers for the long term, as well as keeping your employees engaged and committed. Imagine a workplace where service is not strongly valued or is inconsistent. It must be challenging to retain employees who are at the receiving end of incessant verbal abuse from malcontents and dissatisfied customers.
Another important reason to provide quality customer service answers the "What's in it for me?" question, which is not always verbalized by some employees. Good customer service helps generate more revenue, which enables the company or organization to live its mission.
Elaine Fogel is president and CMO of Solutions Marketing & Consulting LLC, and a marketing and branding thought leader, speaker, writer, and MarketingProfs contributor. She is the author of the Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most for Small Business Success.
LinkedIn: Elaine Fogel