Treating Your Customers Right

Jun 14, 2008

Aaron Ramsey, holding up his new Arsenal shirtAaron Ramsey, the most sought after teenager in England, has signed for Arsenal. He was expected to sign for Manchester United, and to be honest, even I didn’t think Arsenal would get him. But in the end, he chose to come to Arsenal. Why? Because Arsenal treated him well.

Manchester United sent their captain, Gary Neville, to meet Ramsey and his family. Ramsey and his family had apparently wanted to speak to the management about his future, but didn’t get the chance. Arsenal, on the other hand, flew him first class on a private jet to Switzerland to meet Wenger (because Wenger was working there). Wenger talked to him, and answered any questions he and his family had, for over 2 hours, and convinced him that Arsenal was a better fit to his style.

Arsenal might not have won as much as Manchester United, the current champions of the Premier League and Champions League, in recent years. They might not have the fan base or financial strength of Manchester United. I hate to admit this as an Arsenal fan, but on paper, Arsenal may not be considered as good a club as Manchester United.

But they treated Aaron Ramsey better. They talked to him openly, addressed whatever questions he had honestly. And they proved that they were better for him. Arsenal might not be the better club, but they were the better club for him, and that’

There’s a great lesson in customer service here. Treat your customers (both prospective and current) as well as you can, no matter who they are. Talk to them openly and honestly, and listen. Provide what is best for them personally, make it as personalized and unique to them as possible.

Do that – treat your customers right – and they are more likely to come to you.

Are you providing first class service to your customers – are you treating your customers right?

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The offline world still exists

May 12, 2008

Stowe Boyd posted his story about his experience with Clear, and “bet[s] that Clear is going to do everything wrong“.

More than the customer service aspect of it, one thing that really struck me is this. With all the focus on online tools and Web 2.0 and all, it’s really easy to forget the basics – the offline things. Basic things like the sign on a door.

There’s so much talk about how companies should join the online conversation, create more engagement online, make their online tools more personal, etc. It’s easy to forget that for most companies, a large part of the customer experience is still the offline aspect.

It’s a simple thing. But one that we need to remember. As companies, or as individuals building our personal brands, even. We need to remember that there’s still an offline component. It’s easy to forget, especially when we make changes, because online is so much easier to change. It’s easier to change a website than to change the sign on a door. But they’re both just as important.

You’ve got to make sure that what you say and do offline matches what your behavior online. Not everyone’s going to check your website all the time.

Yes, the web allows you to spread your message further and establish your brand more. But your brand still exists offline. You’ve got to pay just as much attention to the offline experience.

There’s still an outside world that exists offline.