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13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

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02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

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01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

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17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

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8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

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03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

Customer Service as a Differentiator: A Case Study

Posted on: 25 July '11

I recently wrote about customer experience and its importance in building a Company’s brand. My previous blog raised a philosophical question on whether or not your clients/prospects would have a positive brand experience if they called your Company’s phone number, a long forgotten marketing channel for most of us.

I wanted to use this blog to give a real-life example of how this channel can make or break large deals; not just for a B2C company like Zappos.com but also for a B2B services company.

Early in my career before MindTree, my employer was one of the two firms being considered for a $10M+ business transformation project for a global pulp and paper manufacturer. The decision was being made by the CEO and in his opinion; the two companies were in a ‘dead heat’ situation on all the key criteria: price, methodology, cultural fit, proposed team capability and domain expertise to name a few.

The CEO decided to do something different to pick a partner for this project. He decided to anonymously call each company late on a Friday afternoon. He asked both companies a very unusual question and wanted to see how it would be handled. The CEO was not impressed when he called the competition, as the person answering the phone was apparently disinterested and very put off by the fact that someone was making her work when she was already in ‘weekend mode.’

The experience was quite different when the CEO called my company. The person who answered the phone call was warm, inviting and willing to help even though she couldn’t answer the question without help. The receptionist transferred the call to the head of marketing who went above and beyond to provide first class customer service. For his effort, our head of marketing was the deciding factor in winning the $10M deal.

I realize that this example may be unique, or maybe it happens more often, we just don’t know that. But let it be a reminder that old school marketing can still make a difference and marketers shouldn’t completely ignore it; and finally, that each and every touch point within your organization shapes it’s brand.

 

 

  • Geetha

    Dear Joe,

    Old is indeed gold!

    Thank you for this interesting point about each and every employee being a brand ambassador for the organization:

    “and finally, that each and every touch point within your organization shapes it’s brand.”

    I started my career as a receptionist more than three decades ago and that’s just one of the reasons why I really value what John C. Maxwell says here:

    “To add significance to the lives of the people you lead is to show them the big picture and let them know how they contribute to it. Many people get so caught up in the task of the moment that they cannot see the importance of what they do.

    A member of my staff who was once dean of a vocational college told me of a day on which he was showing around a new employee. As he introduced each person and described each person’s position, the receptionist overheard him say that hers was a very important position. The receptionist commented, “I’m not important. The most important thing I do each day is fill out a report.”

    “Without you,” the dean replied, “this school wouldn’t exist. Every new student who comes here talks to you first. If they don’t like you, they won’t like the school. If they don’t like the school, they won’t come to school here, and we would soon run out of students. We would have to close our doors.”

    “Wow! I never thought of it that way,” she replied. The dean immediately saw her appear more confident, and she sat up taller behind her desk as she answered the phone. The leader of her department had never explained to her the significance of her job. He had never explained her value to the organization. By seeing the big picture, she had significance added to her life.”

    And I also like the anecdote shared by the Gardener in ‘The Professional’ about the young Japanese woman employee of Matsuzakaya Ginza Department Store. She proudly considers herself and her role in the organization as a key differentiator.

    Thanks and regards,

    Geetha

  • Kiran

    Hi Geeta,

    A very thought provoking response. Irrespective of what your role is, there is a tremendous potential to add a lot of value and feel confident.

    Regards,
    Kiran

  • Kiran

    Hi Joe,

    Intersting to note that the cold call works both ways – not just for bagging one of the largest auto retailers as a client.

    Regards,
    Kiran

  • Joe

    Geetha:

    I love your story….thanks for sharing. It serves as a gentle reminder that there are no “little things” or “unimportant role,” only big ones.

    Joe