What ever happened to Great Customer Service?
I was getting 20 emails, 10 pieces of mail and 10 text messages from my bank every month offering to sell me something, upgrade my account or give me another credit card. However, a few months ago when I had a serious customer service issue there was nobody there that could help me. After an hour of hitting dead ends on their phone system and speaking with three people who first thanked me for being a Platinum Preferred Business Account and then assured me they were not the right department to help, I finally found someone who said “YES, I will take care of the issue and we guarantee it will never happen again”. Finally a fix to my problem, I was both worn out and elated!
Unfortunately, the exact same issue happened again and again over the next couple months. Each time with the same assurance that it was fixed. Those confident claims to fix the issue impacting my business turned out to be empty promises never delivered. It made me think, if I am a Preferred Platinum Customer with 10 years loyalty and I cannot get any customer satisfaction, who can?
In all fairness, it’s not just the banks. It seems like these days it’s harder and harder to find good customer service at wireless providers, retail stores, utility companies, etc. Everyone is hiding behind their website portals, automated phone systems and anonymous email questionnaires.
When was the last time a vendor asked you “How are we doing, how can we do better for you?” and really meant it.
Call me old-fashioned but I still believe that in a service industry like banks and the exhibit industry, the product we are selling IS Customer Service. That is what customers want and need most. Everything else is a by-product and to a certain degree, a commodity. Of course we have to have creative and cost effective products delivered with quality and purpose by experienced professionals, but strong customer service is the thread that ties it all together and makes for a positive and satisfying business relationship.
I have held this core belief for 30 plus years in this creative and satisfying industry. I have always gravitated towards other industry professionals who feel the same way and built my network with the best people in the industry that understand the value of great customer service.
Years ago while managing a large well-known exhibit company I found it increasingly difficult to deliver on the customer service promise and still satisfy the equity owners of the company. The equity owners were driven primarily by growth, profit, cost reductions and investor returns, very often at the expense of the clients and customer service. I was driven by the belief that if you maintain great customer service at any cost, the business will thrive. This conflict of operating principles was extremely challenging and ultimately is what led me and other like-minded industry professionals to leave the larger industry providers and start Branded Area years ago.
As frustrating as it is sometimes to experience the overall decline of customer service, it does validate the reasons Branded Area was formed in the first place. To build lasting relationships based on Integrity and results, while providing strategic, creative and cost effective solutions that exceed expectations.
After we completed a recent event, we were so satisfied to get this note from one of our clients. “Way to go. I am so happy to work with Branded Area. You guys definitely are one of those great partnerships you rarely find these days!“
Great customer service is alive and well at Branded Area… Just ask our clients!