Derek Sivers

from the book “Anything You Want”:

Customer service is everything

2014-07-01

I was honestly surprised that CD Baby was such a runaway success. But I was even more surprised to find out why.

Whenever I was out at events, I’d listen as musicians would tell other musicians why they chose CD Baby. Was it the pricing? The features? Nope. The top reason, by far, was this: “They pick up the phone! They reply to my emails! You can talk to a real person!”

Who could have guessed? Despite all your efforts put into features, pricing, design, partnerships, and more, people will choose one company over another just because they like the customer service.

So I structured my company to match this priority. Out of my 85 employees, 28 were full-time customer service.

Customer service is not an expense to be minimized. It’s a core profit center, like sales. It’s where you should put your best people.

Hire the sweetest, most empathetic people, and make sure they have all the time and resources they need to make your customers very happy. If they get so busy that their interactions are getting succinct, it’s time to hire another. It’s worth it.

It’s much harder to get a new customer than it is to get more business from an existing customer. Companies focus so much on getting new customers, but keeping existing customers thrilled is a better investment.