Burger… medium rare… cheddar… bacon on the side…

CRM Magazine (www.DestinationCRM.com) posted another inspiring piece by Lior Arussy titled “Self-Service Is Just Less-Than-Full Service” (October 2008). Using the direct line we have to the big dogs at CRM Mag I plopped the email below on Josh Weinberger (Managing Editor).

Yes, another inspiring piece from Lior Arussy, thanks. From my perspective the right answer is a bit more grey than it is black & white. First, the customer should be provided with “functionality” that meets their expectations. Sometimes we like and want self-service and get annoyed when I get “please call” or “please email”. Other times, we want live chat or to make that call. It depends. But the decision should be mine. If I see “features” elsewhere, from what I perceive as similar vendors, then I expect the same. No excuses. Btw, someday I hope companies start to offer a text message option.

Second, the brand should deliver nothing short of what they promise. It doesn’t do any good to just say, “We’re high end” or ” We’re customer focused.” It’s a new era and the brand has to walk the walk too. The customer expects what we all expect – to get what we pay for. Ideally, a little more. I don’t think it’s a question of self vs full but simply of customer expectations and value. Unfortunately, and I’m sure Mr Arussy would agree, too many decisions are made by MBAs with spreadsheets.

I believe that the hospitality industry is actually the model for all others to follow. They don’t have customers, they have guests. A lesson in deed for the rest of it. The fact is, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, if your brand looks at everyone as guests – and treats them as such – then the dog will wag the tail as it’s supposed to. Unfortunately, these’s no function for that in Excel.

Bottom line… Good service – self or otherwise – is when I don’t feel like I made a mistake for wanting a hamburger at 3:00am. Yes, it might be a slightly unreasonable request. I’m only suggesting that I not be made to feel wrong for making it. So ask yourself, “How
does my company treat my guests?”

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