The Customer Service Equation

I like talking about customer service. I believe in customer service, and that more and more your commitment to customer service will determine the success of your business and your business change.

Last week, when I was attending the Barbara Yablon Maida Memorial Service in Los Angeles, I got to experience both tremendously good and what looks more and more like tremendously bad customer service. The great customer service came from The Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel, which despite being in Los Angeles/Beverly Hills, a place I’ve always considered the worldwide home of plastic behavior, delivers world-class customer service on a level I’ve come to expect only in London, where places like The Lanesborough have elevated customer service to an art form.

Virgin America Airline, I hope you’re listening, because you’re running out of time to avoid being enshrined on The Answer Guy’s Verizon Wireless Customer Service Wall of Shame.

Both Virgin America and The Peninsula Beverly Hills are on my mind this week as I re-acclimate to my normal life. I’ve had a chance to tell several people I know who travel to Los Angeles regularly that The Peninsula Beverly Hills needs to be their only choice in a hotel, because their customer service really is that good. And Virgin America? Well, just wait . . .

All of this was also on my mind when I noticed that we’ve started to see a spike in traffic to this post on customer service. I hadn’t read it in a while, and when I took a look yesterday I saw why this would be a piece people link to; it tells the customer service story in the only way that matters.

Which is that customer service is the only thing that matters

I could stop here, repeat that customer service mantra a few times for emphasis, or move on the my next point: long-tail marketing is the most important thing you can do (besides providing superb customer service) to grow your business.

That piece I mentioned a moment ago was written well over two years ago. It’s had its share of traffic, and now its share is becoming larger. That’s long-tail marketing, folks; something I wrote thirty-one months ago is getting people to visit Answer Guy Central today.

We see this every day; so do our clients. Long Tail Marketing is the reason Search Engine Optimization matters, and it’s the reason we practice SEO in the way we do. Long Tail Marketing-driven Search Engine Optimization just plain works.

So do your marketing. Let’s drive people to your web site so you can get more and more new customers. But when they get there, make sure you deliver customer service. Otherwise, you’ll be just like Verizon Wireless.

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