You know how disruptive technologies come along and change the way we do things? Like when the iPod transformed the way people listened to music, or how Google made “remembering stuff” a forgotten art? Every now and then you get a similarly “disruptive” approach to customer service that is refreshing, and makes old models of service look outdated. I’ve experienced a couple recently.
My new mobile phone contract is with Giffgaff. When you sign up you can choose a “goody bag” package of texts, minutes and data. I chose one, then after my first month they emailed me to say that I could probably use a cheaper package (my conclusion: I’m not as popular as I thought I was), and encouraged me to change to save money. SAVE money. So here I am telling you and would recommend you join them too, and guess what? When I call other Giffgaff subscribers it’s free! I guess their model falls apart once they get a larger share of the market and everyone’s calling each other for free, but maybe they’ll think of new ways to be generous when that happens.
And Apple (again) killed me with kindness when I had the temerity to call and to ask them whether a MacBook we’d ordered would arrive by a certain date as it was a gift (which we hadn’t told them when we ordered). Not only did the service agent give me their personal contact details should I need to contact him, but I got a £50 rebate as they couldn’t quite meet my deadline. Not their fault, really, but now I love them for it.
Clearly these are not random acts of kindness, unilaterally dispensed by kind employees. They’re baked in cultural values and policies, but it’s great when you encounter them, and as a result I’m almost certainly going to order from them again.
So what would this mean in my company? Hmmm – I’ve grown up in a world where technology companies know “the price of everything and the value of nothing“. And some had even adopted the Balanced Scorecard model, which among other things is meant to demonstrate the commercial value that comes from delighting your customers. Let’s see what I can come up with – probably a good time to test us out 🙂