Ask about a good customer service experience and people may cite Zappos, Amazon, or Disney. Are following the trends of others the best path? Are you caught up in trendy customer service?
It seems to make sense. In life, much of what we do we learn by watching, listening, and getting hands on. Then we replicate, we mimic, and we follow the model.
Learn to tie your shoe, make a toasted cheese sandwich, or change a flat tire. We often watch, listen, and replicate.
Creating the best customer service experience may be a bit different.
Trends Are Not Unique
When we mimic, follow the model, or do what the competition is doing, the best we can hope for is to become number two.
Here is the real catch though, if every online shoe store or every theme park replicates, exactly, the best service models then the opportunity for a unique experience is less. Everything is the same or similar. It isn’t memorable.
McDonald’s or Burger King, Wendy’s or Carl’s Jr., they spend millions chasing each other and yet trying to be different.
The manufacturer that produces a pen, a silicon chip, or a plastic water bottle, may produce hundreds of thousands, all exactly the same. Good quality, a sign of trust, value, and building a brand.
When everyone is exactly the same, the lowest price wins.
Trendy Customer Service
The question more people should ask is not about how to replicate, but how to create a unique experience that makes your product or service memorable, unforgotten, cutting edge, talked about, and chased. An experience that others may find so attractive that they want to follow.
Following the leaders puts you behind. Becoming the leader advances you forward.
Certainly, we can learn from other models. Certainly, we should understand what the competition is doing. Replicating their model will always only be a path of following.
Trendy doesn’t differentiate, it’s similar.
It’s a price too high to pay.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.