THE IMPORTANCE OF BRAND VALUE IN A SERVICE INDUSTRY
There are only a 2 brands which I actually admire and will remain loyal to - Canon and Lego. You can buy me a cup of coffee to understand how Canon got into that list, but we’re here for Lego and why it has a strong brand and consumer loyalty and why I feel that customer service is so important in any industry. Anyone can sell you something once, but keeping them as a loyal customer is the key to success.
Back in November, I was at the Lego Flatiron store, and I usually make my trip to just “check out” what they have. Nothing to buy in particular. I ended up buying a few boxes of the Seasonal sets for myself and an AFOL friend. At the checkout counter, I tried asking for help to redeem using my Lego VIP Points which I had collected for over a year. I had created two separate Lego accounts whilst trying to sort out the VIP registration to my card with my online account. Unfortunately my VIP points had expired, but I still wanted to ensure that I had a proper VIP points credited to an account upon my next visit.
I had been troubleshooting with Lego Online (via emails) but had little success. This nice gentlemen, Devon - in a moderately busy day at the store, took the time to understand what exactly was my problem and ensure that I had a satisfactory answer before I left the store. It was a simple gesture of checking my account details and actually going to the ‘back of the store’ to also validate the account setup and link for points. At the end of the day, perhaps 10-15 mins of his time, we sorted things out. He left me a receipt to fill out an online survey. I made a mental not to remember to do it when I get back eventually. I obviously forgot about it.
I left the store thinking, "this is why I like Lego - there the people that care about me and my problems with their systems”
Over a month later, whilst sorting my receipts, I had a glance and remembered, hey, I think I should fill out this survey. It didn’t take much time, but I just wanted ‘someone’ to know that Devon did a good job. I filled the form out and forgot about it.
A few days later, I got a surprise mail from the Flatiron Store Manager acknowledging my feedback about Devon. It surprised me that this was a personal mail directly from Carlos and it is good to know that they do have a closed-loop system where I could actually see my feedback being taken seriously. It made me feel that I’m being listened to. In this era of social media and internet, it is so easy to get drowned out in the mass frenzy, it’s nice to know this huge and successful company actually is listening to each and every one of us.
1) As an employee, as long as you see or service a customer (directly or indirectly), you are the FACE of the your company. What you do represents the Logo they carry. It doesn’t matter if you actually see the customer or you do something that AFFECTS them, you are representing the brand - the brand ambassador. Leaving a sour experience affects your company’s long term success.
2) As a customer, I have an attachment towards good service and knowing that they actually listen to me. The Lego VIP Membership program may just be another “membership” program. But in this case, it really demonstrates that the VIP programme has a personal touch beyond membership. I am now an unofficial ambassador for their quality of service not only POST sales, but during the sales cycle. We all know how an "unpaid ambassador" is worth a thousands times more than one that’s paid.
This is just one of many small ways that Lego has exceeded my expectations in customer service. We are constantly amazed by the extraordinary folks "out there" - but only difference an “ordinary" person and an “extraordinary" person is just one word... that little bit of “extra”. Is that person you? What’s your story?