The most important element in your brand image isn’t your logo, tagline, color palette, or mission statement. It’s the customer experience (CX) people have when doing business with you.
According to Gartner, “Providing a better customer experience (CX) is no longer just a competitive advantage; it’s a matter of survival. More than 80% of brands surveyed…said their success is mostly or entirely dependent on CX.”
CX encompasses the full range of customer impressions and touch points: your pricing, the quality and reliability of your product, ease of doing business with you, ease of finding how-to information, and of course the quality of your customer service.
Steve Olenski recently questioned if customer service is the same as CX. It’s not, but customer service is sort of the last line of defense; customers are contacting your customer service team because of a breakdown in some other aspect of CX (being overcharged, delivered the wrong item, having a bad experience with one of your employees, etc.).
Customer service starts with getting the basics right. Hire customer service reps (CSRs) with the language, people, and technical skills needed to do the job well. This is not just a customer-facing role, it’s a role in which the customers being faced are often unhappy and possibly even on the edge of leaving. It’s not the place to skimp on spending.