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Monday, August 30, 2004

Too Much Customer Service???

I am all about customer servcie. I think it is a great asset to a company. Honestly during my time at ISU while getting my MBA, customer service is about all we talked about in some classes.

However, let me pose this question. Can we have too much customer service?
What I mean is, customers come to expect what they are given. 50 years ago, no one expected to get a punch card when they bought a sub sandwich. Today if you don't offer one, your Subway, Blimpies, etc is going to fail because you don't offer a stupid punch card. Yet, the entrepreneur is continually looking for the next gimmic that will give their product the edge it needs through satisfying its customers. The problem is that these advantages are not sustainable. Only temporary. As a result it becomes common place for companies to have to fork out tons of money to satisfy customers in ways that 3 years ago they didn't even know they wanted.

What spurred me to write about this is a bag of M&M's I was reading and eating at 2:30am this weekend. (bad case of munchies crossed with insomnia) They now offer to custom mix colors for you in your own customized bag. (I also have this gnawing in my brain that I've read about this somewhere else, but can't remember where to give credit to. Sorry to the originator of this if I'm not it)


My point is this: Wouldn't we be better off trying to offer sincere efforts to customers and not creating a want that they don't know they have? It would seem to make it easier on business owners. Or, maybe I'm just on such a chocolate rush I'm not thinking straight.