In fact, most businesses will claim to have customer service to some degree, and rightly so, as all businesses have it in some form or another. From one extreme of ‘you call and we’ll put you on hold and we will never answer’ to the more favourable ‘order today and get it yesterday’. Have you ever asked yourself if you deliver good customer service? Have you ever measured it? Would you say you have systems in place that allow your customers to have great customer experiences when they interact with your business?
You need to change the thinking on the words ‘customer service’; not to change the words, but change what they imply. Customer service is not really about the customer and the service. These are very important elements of the business cycle.
Excellent customer service is about the 4 pillars behind the delivery of your service or products: 1) Systems 2) Culture 3) People and 4) Expectations.
Customer service is about the systems your business has in place to give a smooth delivery of your products or services. Great systems help staff to deliver great customer service and to easily cope with any unseen problems that may arise in the buying process for your customer.
It’s about the culture in which the people work. It’s about the place where you operate, the people who you employ, the tone of your office or shop, the canteen where you eat, your professionalism and manner towards customers, the speed at which you work, and the environment in which you work. It’s about the meetings you have day-in and day-out and the results you achieve when you set goals.
It’s about the people and their capability to work to their best abilities within the processes that you set to deliver your service and products.
And finally, it’s about the perception and expectations that your customers have when they interact with you and your capability to meet them. This goes back full circle to the systems you have in place to deliver the customer’s expectations and prove that their perception is indeed merited.
The service in question just happens to be waste collection. The City Bin Co.’s promise to customers: Job Done! We will do the job right each and every time; you will never have to listen to excuses or sad stories! However, the company isn’t singing about this from the rooftops. No sir! Their customers are the ones doing all the singing!
The company receives unsolicited written praise from their customers on a regular basis. In fact, it would be unfair to refer to these as testimonials, as they say so much more. The City Bin Co. has renamed these tributes, good news stories, and compliments as WOWs. One happy customer was so wowed by the service that she was inspired to write a poem about The City Bin Co. The WOW captures the sentiments of the customers sending them. They have been wowed by an excellent service experience delivered by The City Bin Co. The company was getting so many of these WOWs that the CEO, Gene Browne, decided to routinely circulate the WOWs by email to all staff as a means of sharing the customers’ appreciation.
Things have evolved since then and now The City Bin Co. have created and copyrighted, its own social media-inspired icon. There is an interactive on-line WOW page and to top it all off there is a Great Wall of WOW on display at the company’s headquarters. The WOW!’s comprise a variety of complimentary messages and cover topics ranging from prompt service, going over and above to help a customer, clarity of the communications, kind words for the friendly and well-mannered staff, and more. The Great Wall of WOW yells that this is a service company that really cares about its customers.
It also tells us that The City Bin Co. doesn’t merely have satisfied customers, The City Bin Co. has Fans.
Colour psychology is a term you don’t hear too often in business, yet the creative amongst us fly the flag for the power of colour and the effect it may or may not have on customer engagement. Red is powerful, eye-catching and enthusiastic. Red is a primary colour that gets noticed with it’s warm, exciting, and strong virtues. You only have to look at companies such as Virgin and Coca-Cola to see the values of red. Red stands out. The red bins of The City Bin Co. have become part of the personality of the company by being easily noticed and making the brand instantly recognizable. The Red bins say, ‘We are a company that is different’.
According to John Williams, founder and president of LogoYes.com, who created brand standards for Fortune 100 companies like Mitsubishi. ‘Red activates your pituitary gland, increasing your heart rate and causing you to breathe more rapidly. This visceral response makes red strong and energetic.’ You can count on our red bins to evoke a passionate response!
What colour do you associate with your business or yourself?
Way back when, hand-me-down jumpers and second-hand shoes from your brothers, sisters or cousins were completely normal! I recall on one occasion growing up, saving up and buying a new pair of Nike runners. I was so excited about my new kicks, however, being the same shoe size as my brother and father, it was a race to the shoes every morning.
Some harsh facts about the throwaway fashion industry we have gotten accustomed to:
Throwaway fashion is putting increasing pressure on our planet and its people – and it’s not sustainable. By changing our shopping habits, together we can help tackle the growing issue of fast fashion. Some great solutions are the rental and swapping fashion models, which eliminate the risk of panic buying for one occasion (for which Instagram has a lot to answer for) that feeds into the fast-fashion cycle.
Oxfam has come up with an initiative offering a solution to throwaway fashion and the devastating impact it is having on people and the planet. Oxfam’s #SecondhandSeptember urges people to rethink the month that is usually associated with Fashion week and the start of autumnal shopping and put away their credit cards to help save the planet.
Why not shop second-hand for 30 days? Firstly, you will save money. Secondly, if you shop in charity shops, you will be GIVING money to people and organisations in need. Thirdly, you will be helping save the planet. There are so many benefits in getting involved in this pledge to say NO to buying new clothes for the month. Who knows, you may even enjoy finding hidden gems and saving money so much that you decide to keep it up!
Where to shop second hand:
Sign-up and start #SecondhandSeptember at any time here, for top tips, inspiration and more to make the pledge as easy as possible.
Best of luck!