Archive for December, 2012

The PR potential of great customer service

Friday, December 7th, 2012

As we approach the busy holiday season, it’s likely that we will visit a shopping mall, deal with crowds, travel, visit attractions and conduct countless other tasks that take us face-to-face with service providers, and potentially stressful situations.

Through these interactions, there are ongoing “moments of truth” – brief episodes of interaction between a service provider and customer that “make it or break it” from a service perspective.

With today’s instant feedback loops via social media, excellent customer service and positive word of mouth have become even more important, and can ultimately make or break the public perception of your brand.

I recently did some travelling, allowing me to encounter both outstanding and mediocre customer service. Based on these experiences, I’ve outlined the “ABCDE”s of taking your service to the next level, helping to enhance your brand and PR perception:

Be Authentic – Nobody wants to hear a canned message or superficial comment. Be authentic in your demeanour and let your personality shine. Be yourself.

Bend the Rules – Empower your service team to be able to proactively solve problems on the spot. Has anyone gone out of their way to make something right for you? I bet you haven’t forgotten that “moment of truth”. Go the extra mile.

Care – Passionate people are successful because they care what others think and they care about their customers. Be empathetic, be kind.

Delight – At Brookline, we always aim to “surprise and delight”. Do something special for someone, be creative, and go out of your way to do something thoughtful.

Engage – Great service starts with impeccable communication. Be a strong communicator, but most importantly, be a great listener. Build rapport.

So many experiences are made or broken by people – be true to yourself and to your customer and others will soon take notice.

– Paula Worthington is Vice President at Brookline, and has broad public relations and marketing experience within a variety of sectors, including consumer brands, hospitality and tourism, entertainment, real estate, not-for-profit, oil and gas, professional services and transportation.