In Customer Service, Smaller Is Better

**Some background info so you don’t get lost reading this – I provide internal customer service and support to a medium sized company with multiple buildings and campuses across the United States **

I travel a little bit (meaning several times a year, not several times a week) for my day job.  Usually, it is to one of our smaller campuses (I work in the largest campus in our company).  Each time I go, I use every fee minute I have (outside of required meetings) to walk around and meet our lines of business and talk to our employees. 

These are the people that I provide customer support and service to remotely (over the phone and via email).  Quite frankly, I love to meet them and put a name with a face.  Some departments I am able to visit multiple times in a year and some departments only once every few years.  (There are some departments and locations that I have never been able to visit yet!)

Regardless of the frequency of the visit, what I am struck by is the closeness and camaraderie that many of the smaller units share which is something that is extremely hard to develop in a larger department or campus.  (Fact – If you have 7,000 people on your campus, you will never get to know al of them by name and face like you will 250 people in your building.)

Furthermore, the level of rapport that my counterparts in these smaller locations have with their lines of business that the support is generally much stronger than many of the relationships that I and my campus-peers have built with our own internal customers.

What does this mean?  Simply put, it means that the fewer customers you have, the easier it is to build a relationship with them.  It’s easier to get to know 100 people than 300 and easier to maintain good ties with 500 people than 2000.

So, what about those of us that work in mega-corporations with 5,000, 10,000 or 80,000 employees that we support?  Or what about those of us that have thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of customer that purchase goods and services for us?  Is it impossible to keep that (John Cougar Melloncamp) small town feel?

Let me know, I have my own thoughts, they will follow soon.

Thanks for reading,

Brandon

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3 responses to “In Customer Service, Smaller Is Better

  1. I agree, I think this is why smaller family vacation locations have a easier time creating customer service excellence.

    http://roihunters.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/customer-service-excellence-examples/

  2. Pingback: That Small Town Feeling…In Customer Service « Customer Service Voodoo

  3. Pingback: Customer Service When Nothing Is Wrong « Customer Service Voodoo

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