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This is a little bit off the beaten track from the topics usually covered on this blog but I had to write this post for two reasons:

  1. I believe so strongly about this topic
  2. It’s my opinion that for every business it’s worth putting a customer charter into black and white

First off – it constantly amazes me in Ireland, and the UK, the way businesses treat their customers – the way I have been treated
as a customer, in some cases. Existing customers are not only the people adding revenue to the business right now, but they are also the best possible chance you have of growing your business!

FACT: It is a lot easier to sell something again (or something new) to a customer who has already bought from you than it is to acquire a new customer.

This might seem obvious, so why are so many companies not going the extra mile?

Actually the amount of bad customer service out there makes for a great opportunity because it gives your business the potential to have an easy competitive advantage. However a word of warning; I regularly see businesses trying to use “Epic Customer Service” as a benefit when trying to sell their services.

Epic customer service doesn’t work like that, it’s more like trust.

Who is more trustworthy: somebody who constantly says: “you can trust me” or someone who proves every chance they get that not only can you trust them but everyone can? First we try, then we trust. Customer Service is the same.

Actually I prefer to think of it as Customer “Care”, rather than “Service”. There is a fundamental difference in meaning between the two terms that is very important when trying to create an ethos of service delivery that is EPIC.

Below is the WSM Epic Customer Care Code and it is my belief that if every business implemented a charter similar to this one, customer loyalty would increase, referrals would increase and the benefits to the company in question would be far greater and wider reaching than can be immediately quantified in a spreadsheet. This is the code all staff at WSM must read and observe.

The WSM Customer Care Code:

It can be summarised into one line:

Be EPIC in every customer Interaction.

The elements required to be “EPIC”:

1 – RESPOND
If a customer or prospect spends their time sending us an email then they deserve a response. If at all possible it should be the same day.

2 – RESPECT
Each customer is a person and as such deserves to be treated with nothing but respect. In the rare event that a customer is disrespectful, they will still receive a helpful, respectful response.

3 – RESPONSIBILITY
If and when we make mistakes (we’re human too!) we will take responsibility for the error, apologise and do everything we can to make it right.

4 – OVERDELIVER
Wherever possible throughout our business we will aim to over deliver, to go the extra mile in order to be EPIC.

5 – LISTEN
We are always looking to improve so feedback is taken very seriously and always valued. Once received there is a review process, where comments are considered and wherever necessary, changes are implemented to improve.

6 – HONESTY
Honesty and integrity are two core values at the heart of everything we do at WSM.

A vast proportion of the new projects and business done at WSM is either repeat customers or referrals from existing clients, which I think speaks volumes about how important the above points are to our brand.

How do you feel about Epic Customer Care? Are we missing anything in our charter?