“What a super guy!”
From time to time Mark and I receive emails or a note of thanks from our customers. We so appreciate those moments, and look at these messages as affirmation that, as a company, we are hitting our marks.
But what really excites us is when we hear that one of our team members goes the extra mile. Most recently, that team member was our Operations Manager, Bruce Chesnutt. Here’s part of an email Mark recently received:
“I just wanted to let you know Bruce was a huge help a couple of weeks ago in letting me set up the two new XDS-Pro1Rs for Charleston. What a super guy!!”
Any of y’all who have met or spoken with Bruce are probably thinking, “Well, duh.” It’s no wonder the customer found his experience with Bruce both pleasant and helpful. Hands down, Bruce is one of the nicest, most positive people you will ever meet. Quick with a smile, Bruce seldom has a complaint and never fails to lend a hand.
We can’t take credit for Bruce’s generous nature. But we will take credit for building a team of Bruce’s by developing and supporting something we call ‘a culture of unreasonable service’.
What is a culture of unreasonable service?
It’s all about going the extra mile – sometimes literally – to please our clients and get the job done. We believe in unreasonable service – so much, in fact, that we think it’s the key to our company’s success.
It’s not rocket science. There is a direct correlation between a company’s success and how well they serve their customer base.
Satisfying their needs – and even doing a bit extra to serve them in the best possible way – sees big results in return customers.
Example: According to Marketing Metrics, while there is a 5% to 20% opportunity of selling your services to a new customer, there is a 60% to 70% chance of selling to an existing customer.
If this is the case, then why do so many companies garner failing grades in the customer service department? I’ve seen it – you’ve seen it. We’ve all experienced it. Here’s what we think:
Unreasonable service is an investment
Not everyone has a generous guy like Bruce on their payroll.
Companies must invest time, plus money, energy and resources in providing proper customer aid and support. And when finances get tight, providing excellent customer service is one of the first sacrifices (consciously or not) that a company makes.
Years ago we dealt with a manufacturer that provided us with amplifiers. The company had a solid reputation in the industry, and we had a great working relationship with them.
Until we didn’t. They began having issues – major issues – with their amplifiers. Our customers weren’t happy so, therefore, we weren’t happy.
The worst part? The company stopped answering the phones. Customer service became non-existent. Rumor had it that the manufacturer had a weather-proofing failure on all of their current-model amplifiers. Evidently the flood of disgruntled customers was just too overwhelming. The company never recovered; within months they had closed their doors.
Unreasonable Service is hard to note on the revenue column of a spreadsheet
Unreasonable service takes effort and time…valuable time. Let’s face it: troubleshooting can be a bear. It may not happen often, but there are times when we could spend several hours – maybe even days – troubleshooting an issue for a client.
Also, we know when our clients need us, they need us NOW. In broadcasting here is no waiting until normal business hours. If your connectivity is down it is costing you – in underwriting, in revenue, in listeners or in viewers. There’s no way you’ve got time for that!
If one were short-sighted and simply looking for an immediate return on customer service hours invested, you may be hard pressed to see it as a positive. But it is – at least for LinkUp. While Marketing Metrics reports happy customers’ rate of return at 60-70%, our ‘returning customer’ numbers are into the 90th percentile. Why? Good old fashioned customer loyalty. Our customers know that our pricing is fair. They understand that we stand behind our work, our products and our services. Our clients can count on us to provide customer service 24/7/365.
What do you think about the state of customer service in corporate America? As you interact with vendors, do you have more positive, or negative, experiences? Specifically, how does LinkUp compare? We’d love your feedback.