The philosophy of great customer service by Derek Sivers

Posted by Spike Opinions and commentary

We all like great customer service. In a recent article, Derek Sivers outlines how you can achieve it, by putting your customer first from the beginning.

This is an article worth rereading once a year or so because Derek nailed customer service at CD Baby. It’s a huge part of why it was such a huge success. Client care is what he prefers to call it because ‘client’ implies a relationship – I like that.

Being able to talk to a real person put CD Baby on the map and Derek used these six rules to guide him and his team.

#1: You can afford to be generous
Starting every conversation with the mindset that your business is secure sets the tone for generosity. I believe that and that you can afford to be generous. Even if it’s just with your time.
People remember you.

#2: The customer is more important than the company
You have to decide that your customers’ happiness is the most important thing at your company. Their happiness is more important than profit. Then tell all your team members and then remind them again and again.

#3: Customer service is a profit center
It costs a lot less to keep a customer than get a new one. A. Lot. Less. This is an important business lesson to remember and put into practice because it’s true. Focus more on keeping your customers than getting new ones and you will build a great business.

#4: Every interaction is your moment to shine
Derek talks here about taking the time on calls or other interactions to blow customers away with how cool you are and how important they are to you. Being efficient sends the wrong message, “I don’t really want to talk with you. Let’s get this over with quick.” Every interaction is a moment to shine. You do have time and it’s worth it. Plus, smile. It comes through.

#5: Lose every fight
It grates me when I have to do this but it works and everyone moves on quickly. Take responsibility for your customers’ happiness by saying they’re right and that you will do whatever it takes to make them happy again. This is where the rubber hits the road with customers service and I like how Derek frames it as lose every fight. It works.

#6: Rebelliously right the wrongs of the world
By owning a business and dealing with customers Derek believes it is your chance to right the wrongs of the world and show them how it’s done. He says, “To do this, you need to be rebellious. Don’t follow norms. Don’t do what the other businesses are doing.” I agree. Be rebellious. Provide great customer service and you will live a motto of mine, the longer I stay in business, the longer I stay in business. It won’t always be easy following Derek’s six rules but it will make you memorable and still in business in the years to come.

Read the article here.