This blog entry was originally featured on August 27, 2015 via our partners at Glance Networks.
I have a thought-provoking question for you. I’ll ask, and before you read on, I want you to take about ten seconds to really think it over. Here’s my question:
What really makes your customer service one-of-a-kind?
What’d you come up with? Is it the people? Is it the speed of service? Maybe it’s your dedication to solving the customers’ issue(s). Whatever it was, chances are it’s something your competition has/does too.
Obviously they don’t have the exact same people. But for every particular individual on your team with a distinct skill set, they have someone on their team with something comparably unique.
You’re fast? So are they.
Dedication? That’s pretty subjective.
You and your competition can go back and forth all day trading barbs on the nuances that characterize your organization. The fact of the matter is that so long as you’re both in the same industry, you’re both operating within the same status quo. That is, of course, unless challenging the status quo is something you value (perhaps something else to ponder).
Visual customer service
Visual customer service sets you apart for three reasons:
- It makes you more accessible. If your customer is having an issue, the effort it actually takes to contact you and resolve it is an obstruction in and of itself. Visual customer service solutions mean that help comes to the customer (not the other way around). Our social economy is constructed by a consumer base that values “on-demand” above all else. Visual customer service solutions combine the convenience of home with the richness of an interpersonal interaction.
- It makes your content easier to consume. Visual customer service simplifies the needs analysis process because in sharing in the experience of consumption, both the customer and service rep can visually identify the same need. Visual customer service gives you the opportunity to address a customer issue without the customer having to do anything more than tell you the problem.
- It lends itself to a better narrative. Winning and retaining business now means trading in multiple forms of capital. A good customer service experience becomes capital in the form of a story that a customer can share. The ability to tell a good story (share a good customer experience) is what gives you the competitive edge. The other cool thing about a story: every single one you’ve ever heard is one-of-a-kind.
It’s time to stand out from the competition
In today’s social economy where the utility of products and services we consume is virtually non-distinguishable, your customer’s experience is truly becoming the only way to stand out from the crowd. The rise to prominence of consumer reporting and review sites means that consumers have more power than ever to leverage you against your competition.
Customer service is no longer about the customer always being right. It’s about the customer always being validated (i.e., no longer being obstructed by the process of consuming your brand). Furthermore, it means simplifying the consumption process to the point that it supersedes your customer’s urge to seek out an alternative.
In short: whatever (and whoever) you are, you have to be the easiest brand of it to consume. Don’t out-compete your competition – out-distinguish them. Be visual with your customer service and give your customers a different, clearer story.