Sneaking a Peak at Other Industries
By Holly Stiel President, Thank You Very Much Inc. | March 30, 2014
Discovering the Magic in Customer Service
If imitation is one of the greatest forms of flattery, we should be flattered indeed. For years, companies ranging from automotive to financial to healthcare have looked to the hospitality industry as the model for providing outstanding customer service. We need only consider the widespread adoption of the concierge concept to see how hotels have been setting the standard.
It came to me that we might consider turning the tables and taking a peek at what successful companies in other industries are doing to earn a reputation for outstanding service. The inspiration came from an article in "The Huffington Post," entitled "The Secret Magic Behind Netflix Customer Service. "
Magic in customer service - especially when provided over the phone or during an online "chat"-is hard to fathom, but Netflix has the formula down. For me, the concept of magic in the context of customer service wasn't actually a huge surprise. When conducting training sessions for hotel concierges, I always tell them that they are in "the magic-making business." It can be tough enough to pull a rabbit out of a hat in a sensational hotel lobby with a magnificent city or resort at one's fingertips, but how does an Internet entertainment provider make this happen?
As I read about Netflix, it occurred to me that we might take a page or two from their book and adopt a few of their tricks. A good number of their subscribers have described Netflix as "beloved," and I wanted to learn more. How does this successful company move from earning a positive rating to sparking love affairs with their customers? It seems the magic boils down to this simple foundation: Netflix encourages its support representatives to be themselves and interact with subscribers as if they are real, live human beings; which, come to think of it, they are. As a result, subscribers enjoy an experience that's dramatically different from mind-numbing recorded menu options and lifelessly recited scripts parroted by lifeless customer service representatives.