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Views and ideas

 

Customer satisfaction vis-a-vis a product has (obviously) always been a priority for successful companies. Now, brands are increasingly realizing that in order to provide an excellent customer experience, and therefore retain customers, the service that goes along can be as important as the product itself. Indeed, customer service is becoming the competitive advantage and will be the key differentiator in the future. But basic customer service is not enough. Brands need to continually innovate to surprise consumers.

 

My last stay at a top-range franchised hotel chain has been a proof of that. It showed me in practice how personalized care and attention to details can positively influence the perception of a brand. During a period of less than a week, I was nicely surprised three times when coming back to my room at the end of the day. Each time, I was offered something different and, with each gift, there was a personalized note with a thoughtful quote.

 

There is nothing like a “wow” moment to positively surprise customers and create loyalty. This in turn tends to produce recurrent revenue and further referrals. What else could a business ask for?

 

However, not everybody has realized that yet. Even though it costs less to keep a customer than to acquire a new one, companies haven’t completely seized the opportunity to use their customer service to create loyalty. One of the reasons for that is that while for some industries – hospitality, for example – good service has always been an essential part of their offer