Sales messaging is most effective when aligned with a company’s core competencies. In the first two installments, I talked about how to align sales messaging with your company’s products, and how to effectively integrate aligned messaging into your marketing plan. In this article, I am going to talk about aligning customer service with your company’s messaging. There is such a thing as too much customer service for your company, and there is such thing as not enough. How do you find the right balance for your company and your customers? To know what works, we can learn from companies that have found the right balance as a price leader, an intimacy leader, and a feature leader. We can examine their solutions to see if they are a good fit for your company.
Price Leader Customer Service
One of the most well-known price leaders is Walmart. They do a great job at keeping their prices as low as possible, and all parts of their organization reflect that. For customer service, they use an acceptable, but very cost effective strategy. If you go to their website, you will find a large database with all of the most frequently asked questions, forcing customers to help themselves. This is one of the most cost effective ways of helping your customers find answers without spending money on support specialists to monitor phones, and answering customer’s questions live. Price leaders often look to automation and efficient dissemination of information as key customer service strategies that fit their model.
Intimacy Leader Customer Service
To be the best as an intimacy leader, it requires giving the best customer experience possible to the customer. The Four-Seasons hotels and resorts chain has done a spectacular job of creating a customer service ecosystem, that sets their hotels apart from the competition. The Four-Seasons will “work with you to understand what you want, then carefully review every detail to create opportunities that push the envelope and make your event unique and memorable.” They strongly emphasize their support staff, and spend a great deal of time and money on customer service to ensure every patron has a better experience than they could have even hoped for. Intimacy and experiences go hand in hand, which is why all the best intimacy leaders have excellent customer service.
Feature Leader Customer Service
When a customer is buying from a feature leader, they expect the most advanced technology, and they want it to work with little to no effort. If you buy an iPhone, you expect it will work out of the box, and that it doesn’t take technical skill to keep it running. In the event something does happen to the iPhone, Apple has gone to great lengths to ensure that it will be fixed promptly. The “Apple Genius Bar” has a large staff that can run quick diagnostics, and resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
Once you have determined which type of market leader your organization is, pair your company with a customer service system your customers would expect or appreciate. Looking to successful companies who are positioned similarly in their markets can give you great incites on how to grow. Take ideas from others, and make sure that your customer service best fits your messaging.