The Pez Dispenser of Customer Service

To this day, I can’t figure out why pez dispensers are so popular. It’s a super cheap toy with some random head on the top of it. When you lift the head it gives you a less than average piece of candy. Is the excitement in moving the head or in receiving the candy?

Clearly, I am not a part of their target market.

But that is ok. I don’t need to be. This simplistic view of what some consider to be a collector’s item is similar to that of a customer dealing with a company’s customer or tech support.

Some companies view their customer service department as an expense. They focus on how quickly they can get people on and off the phone and in up selling customers. To them the customer service department holds as much value as the pez dispenser does to me. They know that they need to keep it filled with cheap candy and that their customers will compare their customer service to other companies, but they see no value in doing anything more than that.

These companies see no value because the customer service standard across the board is extremely low. Customers now expect bad customer service when they deal with a company. They expect to be treated badly and ignored.

Why is that? How did we get to that point?

The bar for creating a positive experience with a customer is so low and so easy to accomplish it should be a “gimme” for developing relationships with your customers. Because these same customers are extremely surprised when someone is nice to them and helps them.

When you think about it, customer service can be summed up with these core values:
  • Listen to the customer’s concerns
  • Offer the support or help they need without needing to obtain approval or reading from a script
  • Ensure they have instant access to people who know more than they do, just in case
  • Follow up and follow through with each customer
If you can deliver on those four core values, you will have a running start on delivering a stellar brand experience.

Will You Do What is Necessary to Create Your Brand Movement?
Customer Expectations at a Restaurant