The Lost Art: Customer Service: Can you remember the last great or good customer service experience you had?


"There aren't many restaurants where this level of care and attention still exists, and even fewer if you eliminate fussy French places where the service can feel like a parody of itself. But Eleven Madison Park does it as well as anyone — old-school, no-holds-barred customer pampering without overt stuffiness.

--He makes his customers feel good. Really good. So good that they wanted to experience the exact same kind of care again and again."

At Eleven Madison Park, when you make your reservation, they do an online search for you. They take the time to get to learn as much as they can about their guests before they arrive. Their intention is to ensure that you receive a very a nuanced experience, tailored to please you and each and every member of your party. I was fascinated to read about this restaurant probably because like many of us, it's hard to recall having had many truly great or good customer service experiences?

They are rare, and because of the disproportionate ratio we experience in our lifetime, I think we're so used to average to below average customer service levels that when we get the service we paid for, we judge it as great when it's actually what we should be getting in the first place. 

Maybe part of the reason we get bad customer service is because we're a bad customer, Matt Walsh poses this argument and I agree that before we can judge the server or the establishment, we have to look at ourselves first in any situation. 

That argument aside, customer service is not what it used to be. What's really exciting is how social media is changing the balance of power. Kevin O'Connor says "the customer is king," and in the beginning companies underestimated the power of social media. Over time they saw the balance sheets and how drastically customers stopped investing in them.

We've seen a bunch of faux pas on social media from companies such as Bank of America and Us Airways to name a few. Companies are still learning how to use social media effectively, because the truth is, brand loyalty depends on trust and consistent performance over time. A company's reputation is harder to maintain now more than ever before. With customers having a platform to voice and reveal bad practices, companies need to listen and act. Companies cannot afford to ignore customer complaints, because now, in just a minute someone can take a photo or record video and broadcast it to the world. Public relations can only contain the situation so far.

According to Duke Chung, the costs of bad customer service are great, an estimated $83 billion is lost by American business. As Chung so aptly puts it, "customer service is becoming the brand differentiator." Social media is a great tool to ensure swift response and effective action. Ideally, social media is more than a marketing tool, it's a way to engage your customers and gain insights to better serve them. Social media is also about showcasing your brand in the best and purest way. How you treat your customers reflects on the brand, and when others see the positive way you handle any issues or concerns online, as well as any positive posts or mentions by others about your brand, it's free promotion, and you earned! 

So take advantage of social media marketing, start listening and engaging with people online. See what a difference it makes to your business.