EP #41 – Creating a Customer Service Culture with Micah Solomon
Creating a Customer Service Culture with Micah Solomon
In this episode, Susan is joined by Micah Solomon, a world-renowned consultant and trainer in customer service, consumer trends, and company culture. He is the author of IGNORE YOUR CUSTOMERS (AND THEY’LL GO AWAY): The Simple Playbook for Delivering the Ultimate Customer Service Experience (2020).
“Company culture” is a buzz-phrase that has risen to prominence in recent years. Micah, however, believes the term is misunderstood by many boardroom individuals to mean little more than ping-pong tables and bean bag chairs. With this in mind, Micah prefers to speak of a different kind of “company culture”, and that is “customer service culture”. This is comprised of two primary elements: 1) the way your company treats its customers, and 2) the way the company treats the people (i.e. employees, vendors, and contractors) whose job it is to take care of those customers.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies miss the mark on what it means to have a stellar customer service culture. Oftentimes, a company may have the wrong style of customer service. That is, customers today, by and large, want a more “informal” style; or an “eye-level” or “peer-on-peer” style of service. It means looking beyond the outdated paradigm of customer service, defined by a certain level of rigidity and formality. For example, nowadays it may be okay for employees to sport tattoos and colored hair, simply because their customers sport the same. In short, today’s customer thrives on relatability.
Much more important than customer service style, on the other hand, is hiring the right people. Micah refers to “the cliff of dissatisfaction”: The longer it takes for employees to respond to customer inquiries, the higher the customer’s level of dissatisfaction.
“The hallmark of great customer service organizations is that they have a default of ‘yes’.” Micah gives a personal example of this in the form of his salesperson at Nordstrom named Joanne Hassiss. When the manufacturer of his favorite short-sleeve shirt went out of business, Joanne, instead of turning Micah away, told him to give her a day. By the next day, Joanne had found a solution: shirts almost identical to Micah’s favorite, found not on Nordstrom’s website, but on a competitor’s website. Joanne got to “yes” by giving up a sale from her own company. Micah may no longer be a source of revenue for that particular style of shirt, but he is sure to be back at Nordstrom simply because Joanne Hassiss made an impact by saying “yes”. But if you absolutely must decline, adds Micah, “Never say ‘no’ to a guest without providing one or two reasonable alternatives.”
“Customer service,” says Micah, “is today’s marketing.” Traditional advertising in today’s society can only be either doubly good or doubly bad depending on the experience a customer has had with the company in question.
Micah’s website: https://micahsolomon.com/
Micah’s book: https://ignoreyourcustomers.com/
Thanks for tuning in!
There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, and I am grateful you chose mine. If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it by using the social media buttons you see at the side of this page.
Got A Question You Want Answered On the Podcast?
Ask your questions or let me know if there is a topic or guest you’d like to hear from in the comments below and submit your question there for a chance to be featured on a future Q&A episode.
Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes, they’re extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show, and you can bet that I read every single one of them personally!
Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live!
Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.