Turn your customers into brand ambassadors

N°225a – Synopsis (8p.) – Customer Relationship
Turn your customers into brand ambassadors
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Some firms manage to rely on service excellence to turn their customers into ambassadors for their products and services. How to make customer experience a key success factor?

Having wildly satisfied customers who wouldn’t think of buying anywhere else and constantly urge their peers to follow suit is a dream for any company. To reach such lofty heights of satisfaction, however, service must not only be irreproachable, but also consistent. This is the prerequisite for customers to feel they can always count on the company to give them the very best.

While social networks are playing an increasingly important role in our lives, businesses can no longer be content to offer “pretty good service.” Companies must now achieve and maintain excellence, or risk being regularly lambasted. Starbucks recently had this experience. The coffee chain is habitually cited as a customer service benchmark. Even so, customers unhappy with how their names were misspelled on beverage cups posted photos of the worst spelling errors made by staff. “Annie,” who received a coffee cup marked “Any”, took offense at what she perceived to be a lack of respect, though others were more inclined to see it as a laughing matter. Caring about bad spelling may seem irrelevant to a restaurant chain, but this problem nonetheless triggered a sarcastic campaign. Starbucks’ hard-earned reputation for quality service suffered as a result, showing that even the most delicious beverage can still leave a bitter taste in customers’ mouths.

This example illustrates that every component of the customer experience must be consistently excellent. This may seem like an unattainable goal. Yet, examples drawn from widely different domains, from online shoe sales to luxury hotels, prove that it can be done. Often, however, the entire organization must be rethought to do it.

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