Thursday, May 13, 2004

Creating Fanatical Customer Service

There is a great article in this month's Fast Company Magazine about Rackspace, a company that provides back-end servers for companies that outsource their server hardware. Rackspace also provides world-class customer service, which is not something that many people would expect (although it is something that should be expected) from a high technology company.

How do they do it?

From the article:

". . .a few simple rules: Criticizing a customer is a firing offense. Be reliable. No news is not good news--communicate frequently with customers. Look for ways to exceed expectations and make customers say "wow." Remove hassles--make it easy for customers to do business with Rackspace."

Restated:

1. Don't criticize the people that are buying your product.
2. Communicate (a lot) with the people that are buying your product.
3. Don't just try to provide average service, provide excellent service: create "WOW"
4. Make customers want to do business with you (buy your product).

Simple stuff, right? Seems simple, but a lot of it is the soft stuff that is so very hard for companies to pull off. Look at the ratings of any industry segment's competitors; there is always a bottom-rated company and frequently the reason for the poor rating is that company's customer service.

More from the article:

4 Ways Rackspace Creates an Obsessive Service Culture:

1. Measure it. Customer service is reflected in the time it takes to resolve a problem, in the number of customers that renew or expand their business with your company, and in the number of referrals your company gets from existing customers. Rackspace receives 50% of its new business from customer referrals.

2. Pay for it. Rackspace employees' monthly bonuses depend on how well they serve customers. David Bryce, the company's vice president of customer service, is part of the senior executive team, and every job candidate in his division interviews with him, demonstrating the company's commitment to great service.

3. Motivate it. Public recognition of achievement--customer compliments posted on the wall, fanatic signs hanging above the desks of winners of the straightjacket award--gives individual Rackers a status boost among their peers, and something for everyone to aspire to.

4. Enforce it. If you're serious about service, then rudeness to a customer is inexcusable. At the same time, if employees are committed to providing great service, they deserve unconditional management support. This year, three employees left because they didn't "get" Rackspace's service ethic--and one customer was fired for being abusive to Rackspace employees.


These points are the Rackspace magic formula for creating a fanatic customer service department. Does your employees that service customers make a bonus? How familiar are the employees you have servicing customers with the company P&L (an their own division, team, etc. P&L)? Will your company fire its customers for being abusive to its employees?

Read the article for some great examples of how far Rackspace employees will go to service their customers.

10 comments:

Michael said...

Good entry. I think I'll link to it soon. Regards

Mike said...

Thought you would like this. make easy money

Mike said...

Thought you would like this. make money home based business

TS said...

Nice Blog!!!   I thought I'd tell you about a site that will let give you places where
you can make extra cash! I made over $800 last month. Not bad for not doing much. Just put in your
zip code and up will pop up a list of places that are available. I live in a small area and found quite
a few. MAKE MONEY NOW

TS said...

Nice Blog!!!   I thought I'd tell you about a site that will let give you places where
you can make extra cash! I made over $800 last month. Not bad for not doing much. Just put in your
zip code and up will pop up a list of places that are available. I live in a small area and found quite
a few. MAKE MONEY NOW

harvir said...

Hi i am totally blown away with the blogs people have created its so much fun to read alot of good info and you have also one of the best blogs !! Have some time check my link to !!Based business business from home home opportunity work

Mark Hultgren said...

Hello, I just wanted to post a comment on how well you have put your Blog together. I was doing a search for home business opportunity and came across your Blog. I personally run my own Blog for home business opportunityhome business opportunity so I know a good Blog when I see one.

harvir said...

GOOD content thats what i like and just surfing around on blogs and finding good content is good feeling i am so glued to those blogs dont stop making good content keep it up i am not a pro on making pages but i see if you can visit my site maybe its something that you will like!!Work at home opportunity

Frank said...

I enjoyed reading your blog.

Do you have an interest in make money now? If so, I have a make money now site.

I'd love to have you visit and let me know what you think.

Cyber Financial Corporation said...

Hi,

I liked your blog. I found many interesting information here.
I also give free info about targeted web traffic. You can seen it on my targeted web traffic site.

If you have time please visit my web site to get some free targeted web traffic information.

Kind regards,
Nick