Early Thursday morning I was sitting outside with my wife having coffee and commenting on how I’d have to cut the lawn when my son walked out to say good morning. I saw an opportunity.
“Buddy, how would you like to make some money?”
We spent a little time negotiating and agreed to the price which included doggy doodie clean-up and mowing the lawn. I’ve got a pretty big yard and he’s just getting to the point of being able to do this work on his own. He still needs some oversight and guidance but he’s getting better at it each time and this time I had some work to do while he was working on the yard.
He came in and asked for guidance a few times and asked for some help in a few places in the yard where needed but at the end, he asked me to do some of the work. I didn’t mind and finished up the work but, as I was working I noticed that he either misunderstood or ignored some of my instructions. Which started to bother me. I realized this would be an excellent opportunity to teach my son about customer service.
I’m taking a break from my story here to talk about Customer Service in the context of Customer Success. My story above is about a business-to-consumer transaction and when we talk about Customer Success it’s usually about business-to-business. Also, customer success is about achieving business goals, etc., etc. But without customer service, you’ll never get the chance to achieve or even work on customer success. In my humble opinion, Customer Service is key to every role in every company and every business. Customer Service is the fundamental building block of all transactions and if you fail at customer service you’ll never get the chance to build deeper relationships and help the customer achieve their success goals. One last thought before getting back to my story Customer Success and Customer Services often equal each other in business-to-consumer transactions. All this to say I think it’s very important to teach my son as well as my teams about Customer Services in the context of building great Customer Success teams.
I was on a quick break between meetings and finished the lawn. I had thought about talking to him but had to jump on my next meeting, so I didn’t get a chance to talk with him right away. I’m glad there was a break because it led to a true proud father moment.
Shortly after my meeting finished, my son came down and said Dad, “I’ve been thinking and since you had to help me with the lawn I think I should give you a $10 discount.” Of course, I got a huge smile and proceeded to tell him how proud of him I was for both doing the work and thinking to make Customer Satisfaction a priority. He then had to listen to me explain how you can provide customer satisfaction through means other than discounting your services and how the objective is to provide the customer satisfactory service before letting him know I’d pay the whole amount for both coming up with the discount idea and having to listen to me blabber on about Customer Service and Customer Success.
So what do you think? Is Customer Service key to having Customer Success or can you provide Customer Success even if your Customer Service is subpar? Is Customer Service and Customer Satisfaction the same? What are some ways to provide Customer Satisfaction without just discounting the value of your/your company’s work or services?