Our Commitment To Customer Service
Written by Ben Knosby, CEO of Lucid Travel
I realized very soon after starting Lucid Travel that customer service is an area of the business that we can excel in and create differentiation with time. I decided to make it our number one priority and I didn’t mean it as a marketing slogan - I wanted it to be at the forefront of the organization and be felt by every customer we interact with.
The way I ensured this in the beginning was to personally handle and resolve every single customer issue. I made the decision to hire every function but this one because I considered the direct customer feedback to be integral to our product iterations and roadmap. At first, it was easy to manage and we had very few issues but as we’ve grown it has become a larger & larger portion of my daily time.
So now my next major hurdle is:
How do I scale our high level of customer service and care?
The problem with hiring customer service is that it's pure overhead and does not easily translate to revenue growth. Every other position we’ve hired so far has been within sales, marketing, and tech development which all can have simple metrics to measure ROI. The other issue is that most motivated, talented people are not interested in customer service roles so it’s difficult to find people that will bring the same passion and dedication that has been associated with these functions so far.
Even at our small scale, I’m starting to understand why most companies have sub-par customer support. The reality is that costs and ability to deliver high-quality support only gets harder as companies grow.
Despite this being true, I had one major take-away from a conference we attended last week where we had the opportunity to meet with a lot of the customers we’ve worked with since our start. Every single customer that approached us remembered a particular situation where when we went above & beyond to help them. I figured they would talk about the features and price but that was never what was on top of their mind.
I’ve taken some time to reflect on this learning over the past few days and have tried to apply it to companies and products that I enjoy most. My conclusion is that companies that have provided exceptional service are always thought of in a positive light (even if it’s only subconscious) and ones that don’t are quickly dropped, forgotten, and spread to others.
Because of this realization, I am deciding to double down and on our organization’s dedication to exceptional service and will apply the Zappos framework to managing this from an executive level. Rather than considering it a cost center, we will think of it as a major engine of growth and every positive experience delivered is like dropping a dollar in a jar called “Brand Equity”. This will result in us considering customer service to be an asset and will force us to put the required resources in place to reach our high standards.
If you or someone you know is or has experienced these growing pains before, please feel free to connect and share your insight - we’re early in this journey and know that better service starts with better systems and every step (small or large) matters.