January 27, 2015
New Releases: Zombie Loyalists
We, the people of the Customer Economy, in order to obtain a more perfect customer service experience, do ordain this customer service constitution for a new Customer Service World Order:
Section One: The "Network" Knows all that which we do, and will share those experiences, both positive and negative.
Section Two: There shall be the court of public opinion to determine which companies deserve a customers' business. This court shall convene online, offline, and in real-time, at all times. It shall be based solely on the experience any given customer has had with your business.
Section Three: Every CEO, Business Owner, or Entrepreneur pledges to put customer service before profits, before revenue, and even before fiduciary responsibility, because they understand that when customer service is tops, profits, revenue, and yes, fiduciary responsibility will all work out better than before.
1) In this new, more perfect customer economy, every business understands that it’s no one’s fault but theirs if their brand isn’t perceived the way they want it to be, and no amount of lying, hiding, or faking will get their brand to where they want it to be.
Section Four: The time, place, and manner of providing amazing customer service shall be up to the individual company, but should more than likely include “awesome.” In this new, more perfect customer economy, the brand will understand that “We’re awesome! Buy from us!” is the equivalent of “Hey, I’m awesome, you should leave this bar and come home with me,” and will not implement such tactics. Instead, the brand will put forth their best effort to provide amazing service to each customer even if it’s nothing more than just a smile, and in turn, the customer will turn to their network and share the positive outcome of their experience.
Section Five: Each company will be the judge of their own customer service, and decide whether they need to improve for the greater good. As the new Customer Economy expands, customers will be in charge, and the companies and brands that come out on top will understand that, and never think that “eh, we’ll get by,” is enough.
1) No company, house, or brand, shall adjourn from their good customer service for more than never, lest their customers go somewhere else.
Section Six: Each company and brand shall receive compensation for their services. Such compensation includes increased revenue, happier customers, and higher levels of brand awareness.
Section Seven: All new ideas for great customer service shall be formulated by the brand, and approved by the customers, understanding that the customers, and only the customers, control the direction of the company.
Section Eight: No company or brand shall enter into any treaty with any other company or brand to deceive, confuse, lie to, or in any other way disconnect from their current customers. Such actions shall be construed as ruining the company or brand’s goodwill, and will lead to their immediate downfall.
Section Nine: Every company and brand shall realize that at the end of the day, customers rule, customer service determines the future of the company, and the sentiment of every customer’s tweet, post, or the like, will determine whether or not said company or brand will survive in the new Customer Economy.
Signed, on this 27th Day of January, in the Year of our Global Customer Network,
Peter Shankman is best known for founding Help a Reporter Out, which changed how journalists and sources interact around the world. His new book, Zombie Loyalists, which drops today, is his fourth book, and is the follow-up to his best-seller, Nice Companies Finish First. He blogs at Shankman.com, and tweets random hilarity at @petershankman.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books, and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.