flo.jpgI think a lot about Customer Service because it is one very real way you can deliver better value to your Customer and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Also, I very much want to be good—very good—at what we do. I want to be among the best in class.

So I pay a lot of attention to the service I receive, am sensitive to the details and nuances of what seems to work and what doesn’t.

I sometimes use a car service when I travel; it is a bit of a luxury but not too much more than a taxi. The smoother ride sometimes lets me get work done and if I’m traveling with family, I can specify a larger car. I recently switched services in order to economize. The car service I now am now using is about 60% of the cost of the other service and surprise(!), the service is not quite as good. Yet the funny thing is, it is not the big ticket items that are as different. Yes, the cars are not quite as new but mainly it is the little things. The drivers do not wear ties and jackets, the cars tend to have more of the driver’s personal items in the front, the drivers take personal calls on their cell phones, sun visors are occasionally “decorated” with CD holders, the passenger front seat is not advanced all the way forward to give as much leg room as possible in the back, water bottles are not provided (25 cents each in bulk!), the drivers do not greet me by name, etc.

When I preach (and I do preach it!) Customer Service people tend to think they need big bucks to deliver excellent Customer Service. Au contraire! None of the things mentioned here are expensive and most are free and would require relatively little training. The key is sensitivity to the Customer’s experience.

It’s simple but not necessarily easy. Someone once said that there is very little difference between people but that little difference makes a big difference. The same is true of organizations and Customer Service.