Creating Value Through Customer Service

Its important to know who your customers are and what you want them to become in order to provide the best customer service possible.

When one thinks of customer service they do not necessarily think of innovation. Instead, the hospitality industry comes to mind. However, one of the most important aspects of innovation is customer service.

Its important to know who your customers are and what you want them to become in order to provide the best customer service possible. It is imperative to understand the needs and wants of the customer without cutting corners or sacrificing attention to detail. A simple hello or a smile that is not genuine can do more damage to a brand’s reputation than no smile or welcome at all.

Today brands such as Warby Parker are positioning themselves as consumer centric companies who provide great customer service. Not only are they doing a great job by providing excellent service, they are also creating value for the brand and shareholders. A brand that has a reputation for great customer service can charge more than a brand who does not have the same reputation.

For the most part, customers will gladly pay a premium over market average rates for a similar product or experience if the brand’s reputation is that of exceptional customer service. Four Seasons is the best example of a brand that is known internationally for the exceptional quality of their customer service.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has a long history of being innovative in their approach to customer service starting with the introduction of industry-first 24/7 in-room dining to today’s complimentary Wi-Fi connections in all rooms and house. While most travelers will have a 4G connection on their mobile devices, complimentary Wi-Fi creates value and improves the guest’s experience.

Exceptional quality and creating great customer experiences is just one part of the equation. Michael Schrage, a research fellow at MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business takes this thinking one step further and asks the question “Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become?” in his 2012 Harvard Business Review single.

Its a simple lightweight question that asks managers to rethink their business and ask “What business are we in?”. Are you in the business of providing great guest experiences such as Disney, or are you in the business of constantly developing new innovative products that appeal to a mass market audience such as Samsung?

Disney’s heritage of “Plus It” a term coined by Walt Disney to encourage his employees to always make the project better which is still relevant today. With the introduction of new innovations as the MagicBand wearable technology at Walt Disney World later this year, imagineers have succeeded in “Plus It”. The MagicBand will add an interactive layer to the guests experience at Walt Disney World, which at the same time will give Disney access to new data to further improve customer service.

Disney, like every other business, is in the customer service business. Successful innovators and innovative organizations know how to use customer service to create value. These innovators and innovative organizations create value by being honest, forthright and genuine about the product/service they are selling and providing the support and service that goes along with it.

Innovators understand who their customer is in addition to understanding who their future customers will be. These innovators and their organizations create value.