Service Eye Candy

Eye candy.  It is such a really cool label.  It should be a phrase that has a terrific reputation.  After all, who doesn’t like candy?  And, “a sight for sore eyes” is a positive and encouraging statement.  Most of us see too much plain vanilla and drab stuff.  But, eye candy has a shady reputation.  It typically means attractive but superficial.

It’s like the apple that Snow White ate – it looks really great to take a bite out of, but at the end of the day it will put your customers in a deep sleep and not nourish them long-term.

One can also look at how customer service is delivered and see a similarity. If your customer service is simply – service eye candy – “looks good on the outside, but no depth of quality on the inside,”   then your long-term customer loyalty will suffer.

In the Sixties we called it “show window service.”  You get a sense of potential service eye candy when you notice signs and posters reminding you how important you are as a customer. You get confirmation it is only for attraction when it seems that no one who tries to serve you has read any of those signs!

One of our favorite examples of service eye candy is the recorded message, “Your call is very important to us,” followed by a thirty minute wait time for a call center rep.  Or, the phrase “satisfaction guaranteed or your money cheerfully refunded,” followed by fine print laced with a gazillion exceptions or a stack of forms to be completed at the returns counter. E-tailors promise “free shipping” but then send your package via pony express.

Customers enjoy the attractiveness of a great customer experience.  But if they discover that in truth it’s only service eye candy, they may take you to the party once, but don’t count on a second date.  To make certain you’re not just providing service eye candy – ask these two questions: What can we do to make certain there is service substance behind our service allure?  How can we ensure our service attraction is always more than skin deep?

About Chip&John

Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson are customer loyalty consultants and the authors of several best-selling books. Their newest book is "Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to do About it."
This entry was posted in CustomerThink, Service Eye Candy, Wired and Dangerous and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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