Mick Jagger couldn’t get it. But this might help you give it. Free literature review of satisfaction in the legal market.
Good, if not great, customer service is as the very heart of marketing. There has been tons of academic writing on the subject and one of the leaders in this area is Professor Sally Dibb of the Open University.
In simple terms, if your customer service exceeds customer expectations (which will be based on your marketing mix and communications) you’ll push people up the loyalty ladder so they become ‘advocates’.
The reason for wanting advocates is simple. They move past being repeat purchasers of your service (which is pretty good anyway) to becoming insistent on only buying from you – therefore making you more money! And if that wasn’t enough, they also become walking advertisements for you too – telling anyone that will listen just how good you are and why they should buy from you too.
Want proof of advocate power? Just think about the people you know who buy Apple iphones. The only thing they do more than talk about them is play with them.
On the other end of this spectrum is my father-in-law who will only go into pubs in Nottingham that sell Castle Rock beer brands. Castle Rock, by the way, is a fantastic example of great marketing. The pub market seems to have been shrinking by the day as our nation seems to prefer getting drunk at home with half price bottles of wine from Tesco than going down the pub.
However Castle Rock, a Nottingham based micro brewery and small pub chain, has developed a real niche and reputation for quality real ales (award winning I think), great quality grub and traditionally decorated pubs that attract nice folk. They are by no means the cheapest pubs around but their business seems to be booming.
I’m sure you could analyse their offering with Porters Three Routes to market, as their model seems to be based on focus and differentiation – but I might be wrong.
Anyhow, I am currently talking to a research consultancy about a project for Flint Bishop which I think would increase customer satisfaction and build on our differentiation. The consultancy, called Customer Plus, recently sent me a helpful literature review of client satisfaction in the legal sector which is a short and interesting read.
PS: A word of warning on customer service. Always remember that no matter how many polished marketing communications messages you give, just one bad experience will undo the lot. Period.
PPS: If you want to find any gaps in your customer service perception and the reality of the actual experience you deliver, SERVQUAL is a good start.