This past weekend, I participated in a 3 day conference in Colorado in which Customer Support Professionals gathered for very intense brainstorming and networking. I had the great opportunity to debate, think out loud with and learn from industry leaders across North America. Two of them each shared phenomenal examples about Customer Service and how two “companies” worked towards getting more customers.
The first example occurred several decades ago (I believe it was the 70’s). Apparently, commuters on the Long Island Railroad were able to take college classes on board the train that went to and from Manhattan. My new friend from the conference (Roy), shared with me that his brother was able to get a Master’s degree “on the train” while he commuted. This story is really interesting. One college worked with the railroad to ensure that one train car was dedicated to people taking classes and they would have professors on board lecturing every day.
The second example came from another new friend (Dave) who works for a state university system where their new President asked why they were losing students from their state to other colleges on-line (such as the University of Phoenix). Thanks to his question and direction, that state now offers full degrees on-line (they have everything from Master’s Degrees in Engineering to Social Work).
Both of these examples clearly showed how companies or institutions made thought-out, planned decisions to gain more customers (students). Whether 30 years ago or in 2008, they took their product (classes) to where their prospective students were (on a train 2 – 4 hours a day or across the world).
Where are your prospective customers? How are you reaching out to them?
Customer Service starts with getting customers, no matter where they are.
Thanks for reading, and thanks to my new friends Roy and Dave for the stories,