Creating Customer Happiness: Why Meeting Expectations Isn't Enough

Recently, I experienced some pretty terrible customer service - and it's made me think about the way we approach customer service here at Mash Towers.

Recently, I experienced some pretty terrible customer service – and it’s made me think about the way we approach customer service here at Mash Towers.

Let’s start with a definition of “customer service”: according to Turban et al., it’s “a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.”

That’s customer service at its most basic level – but we think meeting expectations isn’t enough. I mean, let’s face it. Something that performs just as well as you expect it to is all well and good; but something that totally dazzles you by smashing your expectations out of the ballpark is much, much cooler – and far more likely to stick in your memory.

For instance, our experiential campaign for Barclaycard’s PayTag did just that. They gave our promotional staff license to give consumers a real treat that was bespoke to them – their choice of a free lunch. That made every interaction unique, and combined great brand awareness with a personalised, customer-centric approach.

That’s what we’re aiming for. After all, Jules and I didn’t build Mash by just giving the customer what they asked for. We built it by constantly shooting for better service and happier customers, and embedding that into our culture in every way.

This is something that the US online shoe retailer Zappos do really well. They don’t offer blanket offers or discounts to their customers, because they focus on providing an amazing service and experience instead. Their staff are encouraged to go the extra mile, and then a bit further – whether saving a best man from having to go barefoot to a wedding, or sending flowers to a customer undergoing medical treatments.

And this kind of customer service can have a powerful emotional effect. This story about Pixar fulfilling a dying girl’s wish – notably, without publicising it – is probably one of the most touching examples, and the Ritz Carlton’s five star treatment of Joshie, the studded giraffe is one of the most entertaining.

After all, as Maya Angelou said, “people may not remember exactly what you did or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”

Our Mashers are superstars at generating customer happiness. They’re a force to be reckoned with when they’re out in the field, sampling great products with a smile and an attitude that has the potential to improve not only the way the customer feels about the product, but also to improve their whole day.

And in return for that, we do our best to be just as great at customer service. If our Mashers are the ultimate in customer experience, then we owe it to them to be awesome at that too – whether that’s by answering the phone with a smile, or offering a cuppa to anyone who pops in to say hello.

At heart, we’re a service-based business – a fact that is embedded into every aspect of our culture, for everyone we work with. It’s things like this which will help us to realise the goals we’ve had from day one: to be the very best promotional staffing and event staffing agency on the planet.

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Posted by

Phil Edelston