Listen to loyalty marketing types talk long enough, and you're going to hear the phrase "customer service" over and over again. That's because customer service isn't just another department, it's a business philosophy for the most successful companies. That being said, there are still people whose job consists of nothing but answering phones, solving problems, explaining member benefits, soothing bruised egos, addressing angry social networkers and everything else that comes with being a customer service professional.
"There are not a lot of careers that have the primary focus of making the people that you work with happier than they were before they worked with you," says Mark Murdock, Access' director of customer service. "This is what customer service is all about and is what has drawn me into this space. It is the intrinsic reward of leaving for the night knowing that you have made a difference in someone’s life."
To celebrate our service team, as well as the overall concept of customer centricity, we're proud to take part in Customer Service Week today through Friday. This week, dedicated by congress in 1992, is designed to recognize "the importance of customer service and to honoring the people who serve and support customers with the highest degree of care and professionalism," according to the Customer Service Group.
Access employs a team of 18 professionals who staff our contact center. That means taking calls, responding to emails, chatting online, even responding to comments through social media. They work long hours, they work weekends and often they work holidays. Some might call customer service a thankless job, but we try to celebrate their efforts as much as we can, including taking part in Customer Service Week.
The team has a variety of activities planned for customer service week, including team meals, competitions, frequent recognition and a relaxing casino night to top it all off. It'll be well deserved and we're all thankful for their efforts.
Beyond our customer service professionals, every employee at Access is dedicated to serving our partners, whether that be our 300,000+ merchants, 400+ clients, or millions of members. While other companies take customer service for granted, we believe we give ourselves and our clients a competitive advantage by placing it at the forefront of everything we do.
"One of my favorite customer service quotes is from Sam Walton, 'There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else,'" Murdock says. "Customer Service is the life blood of all organizations and is of paramount importance. Our customer service team is one of the finest in the industry and continuously drives loyalty and satisfaction from our members and for this I am grateful."
Brandon is a former writer and marketer for Access Development. He's a frequent blogger on customer and employee engagement & loyalty, consumer trends, and branding. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter at @bscarter