Today I wanted to write on a topic I've written about several times before, but that is still (and always will be) very near and dear to my heart: customer service. For those of you who have yet to meet or work directly with me, I'm Devin, the Director of Buzz here in the NYC office. Before starting full-time at theKbuzz, I dabbled part-time in the service industry - very glamorous, I know. As a waitress, or really anybody in the customer service industry as a whole, you have to cater to customers of all kinds: pleasant or rude, "big spenders" or "cheapskates," etc. As the customer, you'll likewise deal with servers of all kinds: pleasant or rude, inattentive or almost intrusive, etc. Some servers will even slack off for a customer if they assume (or know from previous experience) that they're a low tipper regardless of the quality of the service provided. I was not one of those servers.
The reason I recall my restaurant experience is because I overhead a conversation earlier this week between two marketers debating the value of "smaller" clients versus "larger" clients. Now of course, we would try to avoid these quantifiers in the politically correct world, but in the real world we know that clients who pay hundreds of thousands of dollars on a yearly basis are entirely different in nature from those who make a smaller, one-time purchase. But this fundamental difference is only in the amount and type of work we provide, not the quality of our service. If a client needs additional explanation or help from me to understand the work I'm doing, I will give that to them regardless of whether or not it goes beyond the actual number of consulting hours laid out in their contract. The way I see it, it is our responsibility to explain and teach all that we need to in that allotted amount of time - not the customer's responsibility to feel rushed to learn it. Especially when operating in the realm of social media, there are going to be customers who soak it up like a sponge and learn quickly, while others will view it as a foreign language and need more time. Even from a purely business perspective, is it really that much better or worse to have 20 lackluster reviews from "smaller" clients than to have a poor review from one "larger" client? Each one is important and worthy of our time and care.
That's why we are constantly adapting to the needs of our customers at theKbuzz. Much as I do publicly proclaim to having a dorky crush on Tony Hsieh @zappos, I brought my passion for customer service to my work long before his keynote speech inspired all of us at last year's WOMMA Summit. Especially now when WOM spreads so quickly thanks to the social media and mobile web, I sincerely hope companies continue to realize the importance of great customer service just as we do.
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