Get Rid of the Customer Service Department

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Customer service is something that every company, regardless of size, should have as a focus, right? I mean, that seems kinda like a ‘no-brainer’ as they say but unfortunately in many of the companies that I deal with on a personal basis customer service is an endangered species. I get so frustrated sometimes that I just want to scream. And of course, everyone out there can relate to that I am sure.

That’s why I follow the lead of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh in his desire to eliminate the customer service departments in companies. I don’t know if you know Zappos or not but if you have a woman in your life then you probably are familiar with them. I know that most women are because Zappos is one of the best destinations on the internet if you are looking for shoes. They sell way more than shoes, but that is what put them on the map. Or rather, I should say, that customer service is what put Zappos on the map and that’s why when Hsieh says we need to get rid the CS department, people listen.

So what is he talking about? You can read it here if you want, but basically what he says is that customer service should be your company culture so much so that you won’t need to give that duty to a single department. It will be the very essence of what your company is about and all your employees will eat, breath, and sleep customer service. Wouldn’t this world be a much happier place if that were so??

I consult companies big and small on how to use social media to market themselves. And every once in awhile I run across someone who wants to use social media to solve a customer service problem, thinking that social media holds the answer. And I tell them that if your customer service sucks face-to-face, then your customer service is gonna suck in social media too. And it could actually be worse because of the worldwide reach that social media can have. What was it that Abraham Lincoln said? β€œIt is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” I think Abe may have been thinking about customer service and social media but I can’t say for sure.

I really like Zappos and what they are doing as a company. And I really like their social media outreach efforts as I talked about at a recent keynote I gave. And I hope that if you own a company and you are reading this that you’ll jump on the Hsieh bandwagon and make customer service your company culture too. God knows we need a few more of those companies around here.

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