Does a ‘vanilla’ product driven purely on cost mean ‘vanilla’ service?

  December 11, 2013       Martin Taylor

Why does low price have to come at the cost of good customer service? We spoke to our contact centre and Service Cloud expert – Martin Taylor to discuss his thoughts on this…
“I recently watched an edition of BBC’s The One Show which featured an article about a utility company that Ed Milliband had mentioned when asked who supplies his household with gas and electricity. The utility supplier had been interviewed about the effect of this message had had on their call centre volumes – it had massively increased interest in them and completely caught them unawares. I felt for them actually. This represents a huge challenge to any organisation suddenly thrust into the spotlight and their message on the show was along the lines of ‘we are a growing company and have taken steps to cope the extra demand…’

The facts are though that this utility company have a fantastically priced offer that stands them out but their service is not rated very highly so the question is:
Does a price sensitive offer mean that a customer can expect a lower grade of service?

The crux of our conversation was ‘if you offer a vanilla’ proposition, does this mean that your customer service has to be vanilla?
The truth is that customer service can be recognised by the provider as a cost or as part of the offer. It can therefore present an opportunity to grow long term profitable relationships. This is particularly relevant in the utilities market which is rapidly becoming the most regulated and price sensitive market in the UK.
There isn’t a day that goes by when there is a news item featuring the next new pricing policy coming from Government to control the utilities market and the pricing tactics used. With this level of publicity, there is a high likelihood that all utilities companies are going to experience a high level of customer switching they shop around for the best deal.

This means that there are lots of either challenges or opportunities to excel at service, as the old adage goes – you get one chance to make a first impression…

Can we help?

We would certainly welcome the opportunity to talk this and other customer service challenges through over coffee, let me know.”
We’re Salesforce Service Cloud implementation consultants and this is exactly what we are great at doing – working with our customers to explore customer service challenges and aligning the right technologies to address those challenges.

Here is a quick video so you can see Salesforce in action…