Customer Service: An Investment in Loyalty – Insights from Stacy Sherman & Seth Godin

Customer Service: An Investment in Loyalty – Insights from Stacy Sherman & Seth Godin

Customer service isn’t merely a business expense—it’s an investment.

This was one of the main themes I explored with Seth Godin on my Doing CX Right Podcast, where he made provocative statements like “Customer Service is Free.” Are you wondering what that means?  Then, continue reading to learn how to turn every customer service interaction into an opportunity to build a loyalty-driven brand.

“Customer Service is Free”

During our podcast conversation, Seth discusses how the mindset shift from cost to investment begins with the realization that “Customer Service is Free.” He argues that the expenses we incur to deliver quality customer service must not be seen as costs but rather as investments with a high return. He underscored this by emphasizing that the goodwill generated by excellent customer interactions far outweighs the immediate financial outlay.

Listen to Doing CX RIght podcast episode 130 below

Breaking Down the Concept

  • Brand Loyalty: A satisfied customer is more likely to become a repeat buyer and brand advocate, spreading the word organically. This positive reputation diminishes the need for costly advertising campaigns.
  • Reduced Churn: When a brand demonstrates its commitment to listening, understanding, and solving customer issues, it reduces churn rates. Retaining existing customers is much cheaper than acquiring new ones.
  • Increased Value: Exceptional customer service increases the perceived value of your product or service, justifying premium pricing and encouraging upsells.

These benefits highlight that the perceived cost of investing in customer service is negligible compared to the long-term gains. 

How to consistently deliver outstanding customer service

 

Build Emotional Connections

Automation vs. Human Touch

Seth and I spoke about automation’s role in customer service and the need to balance it with human interaction. Automated systems can speed up responses and handle simple queries efficiently, but they lack empathy. Customers want to feel understood and valued. While automation can assist with efficiency, a human touch is indispensable for resolving complex issues and building relationships.

Empowerment and Autonomy

We also dived into empowering customer service representatives to make decisions that positively impact customer satisfaction. Seth’s point resonated deeply with me: when customer-facing employees have the autonomy to go the extra mile, they can leave a lasting impression that makes a brand memorable.  

Cultivate a Customer-Centric Culture

 

Training for Empathy

Customer service representatives need to be equipped with more than just product knowledge. Training programs should foster empathy, effective communication, and creative problem-solving. This comprehensive training ensures that employees can connect with customers deeper and resolve issues promptly and effectively.

Internal Feedback Loops

Internal feedback loops help companies identify areas for improvement and ensure that service aligns with customer expectations. Empower employees to provide insights and adapt the service strategy accordingly.

Measuring Customer Service Quality

 

Metrics that Matter

Traditional customer service metrics like response times are usefulbut they don’t fully capture customer sentiment. Seth and I discussed how vital it is to gather customer feedback that measures satisfaction and loyalty. Understanding what your customers think of your service can help refine your strategy to focus on improving meaningful metrics.

Transparency and Trust

Honesty, transparency, and consistency in communication are the pillars of building trust. We agreed that when mistakes occur, companies should own them, communicate the next steps clearly, and rectify the issue swiftly. This approach turns a potential negative into an opportunity for strengthening customer trust.

Conclusion

Seth Godin’s insights on customer service reaffirm that it’s not just a department—it’s a mindset that permeates the organization. Shifting our perception of customer service from an expense to an investment, nurturing emotional connections, empowering teams, fostering a customer-centric culture, and measuring quality is crucial to building a loyal customer base. Our conversation on the Doing CX Right Podcast reinforced that an exceptional customer service experience isn’t just possible—it’s transformative.

Watch Stacy Sherman and Seth Godin’s Conversation on Youtube

Learn How To Deliver Better Customer Service Through An Engaged and Valued Workforce.  Sign Up For My Linkedin Learning Self-Paced Course

Seth Godin on AI, CX, and the Future of Customer Service

Seth Godin on AI, CX, and the Future of Customer Service

Doing CX Right podcast show on Spotify with host Stacy Sherman
DoingCXRight-Podcast-on-Amazon-with-host-Stacy-Sherman.
Doing Customer Experience (CX) Right Podcast - Hosted by Stacy Sherman
Doing CX Right podcast show on iHeart Radio with host Stacy Sherman

Did you know that “Customer service is free” and that “authenticity is radically overrated”?

What do these provocative claims mean per Seth Godin?

Uncover these truths in an informative episode of Doing CX Right, where host Stacy Sherman and Marketing genius, Seth Godin (author of 21 best selling books) challenge traditional notions of customer experience. They break down why investing in your current customers could be more beneficial than the chase for new ones and how to harness the synergy between humans and AI in a technology-driven world.

Packed with actionable insights, the conversation will inspire you to think differently and reassess the status quo in business and life.

Check out Seth’s newest venture @ https://www.goodbids.org/ 

What You’ll Learn From Seth Godin & Stacy Sherman:

– How businesses can tactfully serve their ideal customers in an era where customers feel entitled 

– Insights into the psychology behind purchase decisions (value vs price) and how a company successfully positioned clean water as a status symbol. 

– The story of Momofuku, illustrating the power of niche focus and the positive impact it can have on brand identity.

– Practical advice on how to utilize AI as a tool, akin to a screwdriver, and the necessity of using it with a clear understanding of its limitations.

– The influence of systems on our everyday lives, from social media to education, and how acknowledging these forces can shape better business practices.

– A critical look at authenticity and ‘purpose-driven’ approaches, suggesting that consistency and shared experiences hold the key to customer loyalty and mission-driven success.

– An exploration of how cultures within companies, such as Nordstrom’s, are reflected in their customer experiences.

– Strategies to embrace the unique strengths of smaller companies, fostering innovation and leadership without relying on hefty advertising budgets.

– The argument for investing time to understand nuances in a culture of brevity, ensuring deeper connections and informed decisions.

– Exclusive thoughts from Seth Godin on his philanthropic venture, goodbids.org, which aims to revolutionize charity auctions.

 

Doing Customer Experience Lessons:

  1. Practice generosity: Go beyond offering discounts. Create an environment where customers feel valued, respected, and part of a community. Be generous with your time, attention, and resources.
  2. Prioritize consistency over authenticity: Strive for consistent delivery of exceptional customer experiences, aligning every interaction with your brand promises and values. Consistency breeds trust and loyalty.
  3. Identify and “fire” misaligned customers: Respectfully part ways with customers who do not align with your values and vision, as serving them may undermine the experience for your true audience.
  4. Leverage AI as a tool, not a pilot: Employ AI for specific tasks, such as brainstorming or data analysis, but maintain human oversight and critical thinking for decision-making.

    Listen to this podcast now for more actionable insights!

    Whether you are a business owner, a CX leader, or a marketing enthusiast, you won’t want to miss the customer experience leadership wisdom shared, as it may be your game-changer. 

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About Seth Godin:  

The author of 21 books that are best sellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership, and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip, and Purple Cow. His book, This Is Marketing, was an instant bestseller around the world. Recently, he organized the all-volunteer community project, The Carbon Almanac. In 2023, he wrote The Song of Significance, which is already a bestseller.

In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth has founded several companies, including
Yoyodyne and Squidoo. His blog (which you can find by typing “seth” into Google) is one of the most popular in the world. His podcast is in the top 1% of all podcasts worldwide.

In 2018, he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame. More than 40,000 people have taken the powerful Akimbo workshops he founded, including the altMBA and The Marketing Seminar.

Learn more at https://www.sethgodin.com/

     

    About Stacy Sherman: Founder of Doing CX Right®‬

    Customer experience and marketing global keynote speaker, journalist, co-author of two books, advisor, and host of the award-winning DoingCXRight podcast. Known for her Heart & Science™ framework that helps you gain profitable clients and brand loyalty–fueled by an empowered workforce. Stacy’s been walking the talk for 25 years as a strategist and practitioner at companies of all sizes and industries, i.e., Liveops, Verizon, Schindler Elevator Corp, Wilton Brands, and AT&T. She’s also a board advisor at multiple universities, featured in Forbes and other top-rated publications.

    Her Why: To cultivate loyal relationships and meaningful experiences that enrich people’s lives. Contact Stacy for DOING Customer Experience (CX) and Service Right, not just TALKING about it. Continue reading bio >here.

    Learn More About Increasing Customer Loyalty.

    Watch Stacy Sherman’s Linkedin Learning Course‬.

    Customer service expert Stacy Sherman shows you how to foster a strong frontline worker experience so your agents and other staff can deliver value and engender customer loyalty.

    Learn how to identify challenges that impact frontline worker effectiveness.

    Explore hiring strategies for contact center and other frontline roles, as well as how to build positive relationships with your frontline workers from day one.

    Find out how to elevate frontline worker performance through intentional training and development and prepare frontline workers for future leadership.

    This course equips you with a blueprint to connect frontline worker experience to customer experience, so that you’re focused on doing right by your teams and your customers.

    Topics Discussed: Doing CX Right podcast

    customer experience, Watermark Consulting, author, speaker, CX advisory firm, radio DJ, artificial intelligence, choreographed experience, impressing customers, lasting impression, emotional impact, book and research, customer experience ROI, operating expenses, Customer Experience ROI Study, financial lift, wallet share, customer acquisition, Net Promoter Score, customer loyalty, customer compliments, brand obsession, emotional resonance, voice of the customer, customer surveys, customer behavior, leadership development