Yahoo recently ran an article titled "5 Key Words of Advice from the World's Most Famous Customer Service Representative". The article had five quotes from Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group., taken from various interviews he's given over the years.
While we're not sure that Yahoo's title of World's Most Famous Customer Service Rep is 100% official, we certainly do applaud Mr. Branson's obvious commitment to customer service. And if Sir Richard Branson is crediting customer service as the key to his companies' success, all companies should listen up and do what they can to follow in his foot steps.
In the alarm industry, where all companies are selling the same products and services, customer service isn't just the key to Alarm Grid's success, it's every reason we've been successful!
Let's take a look at the 5 key words of advice and how we try to live that example at Alarm Grid.
Branson's first quote was "The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways."
When we created Alarm Grid, we decided that we wanted people that dealt with us to feel like we were a totally different alarm company than any they'd dealt with before. From our no-contract alarm monitoring services, to the wealth of information we gladly give away on our site, we hear all the time how people love the fact that we are fair and upfront. While we think that should be expected, we are lucky to be in an industry where simply being honest actually exceeds customer's expectations.
His second quote was "To achieve consistently terrific customer service, you must hire wonderful people who believe in your company’s goals, habitually do better than the norm and who will love their jobs."
We are still a new company with just a few employees. Most of our customer's deal with me and they almost always comment on how they are impressed with my enthusiasm and in-depth knowledge of alarm systems. Of course, as an owner it's easy for me to care so strongly. I know that as we grow, our continued success will rely on our ability to foster that same enthusiasm in the people we hire and we are committed to making that a reality. I see proof everyday that happy employees equal happy customers and therefore we have a training and management style that empowers employees which leads to their happiness.
The next quote is especially important in our business. "A successful business must never lose its focus on its customers and its standards. When an issue turns up, a company’s response can have a big impact on its reputation and its long-term success."
Because we provide safety and security, we can never "take it easy" and get back to a customer's request on our own time. We know that people need their security systems to work and when they don't work, we know it's our job to get them working again as soon as possible. Extremely long hold times and unanswered emails and voice mails leave a customer that has a malfunctioning system wondering what they are paying for each month. Alarm companies that hide behind contracts can get away with slow customer response but at Alarm Grid, where our customers can choose another company at any time, we treat every email or phone call as another chance to prove our dedication to customer service so that our client's will never need to look for another company again.
The fourth quote was “In business, creating a favorable impression at the first point of customer contact is an absolute imperative. Though everyone knows this, many companies still only manage to do a mediocre job at best."
“But what isn’t widely understood is… the customer’s second impression of the brand can be even more important than his first. The second interaction a customer has with your business usually involves something that has gone wrong — they’re having trouble using the product or service. Handled correctly, this is a situation in which a company can create a very positive impression. Sadly, it’s where things often go terribly wrong.”
I couldn't agree more with this idea. I see everyday how executing on this critical point leaves a favorable impression with customers. We do always look to wow our first time callers with our expert alarm knowledge and, more often than not, that is the reason people credit when they are asked why they chose Alarm Grid. However, signing up new clients is only half the battle for us since we don't use contracts. Making sure our customers stay customers takes much more time and effort. But, just like I said before, we believe that every time there is an issue with your alarm system, it's really just another chance to remind you why you chose us in the first place.
Sir Branson's final quote was “Look, I think that when we started Virgin Atlantic 30 years ago, we had one 747 competing with the airlines that had an average of 300 planes each. Every single one of those have gone bankrupt because they didn’t have customer service. They had might, but they didn’t have customer service, so customer service is everything in the end.”
There are thousands of alarm companies to chose from. We don't wish bankruptcy on any of them but we do know that the only way to ever stand at the top of the mountain is to consistently bowl our customers over with a higher level of customer service than they have ever experienced. Not just compared with other alarm companies, which happens to be fairly easy to do, but compared with ANY company.
If you haven't experienced Alarm Grid yet, we invite you to give us a call today at 888-818-7728 so that you can find out what it's like to be treated by a company that truly cares. For those that have worked with us already, we pledge that the service that won you over originally is ready for you the next time you need us!