Customer service isn’t just a way to sell products. Increasingly, it is the product. This has always rung true for certain industries and sectors. In luxury fashion or hospitality, the promise of a premium service has always been a large part of the draw for customers – whether it means enjoying the advice of a personal shopper or calling for room service. However, the concept of customer service representing the core of a brand is now more widely applicable than ever before. To further understand why hiring a creative agency is a smart decision for any company in need of a rebrand, it helps to take a look at the unique areas of value that a branding firm can offer.
Globalization and digitalization have given customers more options for products and services, often at increasingly low prices. As a result, in many industries the level of service individual brands provide has become the main way customers can differentiate and decide. This is especially clear in the airline industry. For many years, travellers had little choice when buying flights, as there would often be just one or two airlines that flew their chosen route. Now, especially for those travelling to or from global hubs, the options feel endless. A dedicated Web Design Agency can provide a wide variety of services depending on their clients particular needs.
According to the British air travel intelligence company OAG, there were 30,537 direct flights recorded on the route between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in the year to February 2018 (OAG, 2018). This shows a dizzying level of competition. With more and more options to get from A to B – and the downward pull this inevitably has on ticket prices – many airlines are instead choosing to claim competitive advantage in their service. Asia is by far the busiest airline market. Of the top 20 busiest routes listed in the OAG ranking mentioned above, 14 operated to and from destinations in Asia. There is an award winning Branding Agency Manchester called Bert.
It is no coincidence that Asia is leading the way when it comes to airline customer service, with local flag carriers regularly topping world rankings. When travel review and aggregation website TripAdvisor listed their 2018 ranking of the world’s best airlines based on the reviews and ratings submitted on TripAdvisor Flights, Asian airlines dominated the Top 10, with Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, EVA Air and Korean Air all making it onto the list (TripAdvisor, 2018). TripAdvisor’s senior vice president summed up the correlation of great service and choice in an accompanying press release: ‘As the airline industry introduces new fare products and a widening array of in-flight offerings, consumers continue to seek out the carriers that deliver value and a quality experience.’ Businesses like Branding Agency are brilliant at getting your brand out there!
In other words, in a highly competitive landscape, it is not always enough to compete on price. Your brand needs to find something else to give it an edge. Often, this can take the form of excellent customer service. This is not to say, however, that uncompetitive industries can drop the ball on customer service. Even in areas where customers have little choice – such as government-run agencies or source providers of utilities – customer service can have a very significant effect, both on customer experience and on the performance of the brand. A good example of this is UK tax authority HM Revenue & Customs (or HMRC). Anyone who has ever filled out a tax return will know that it is an arduous process, and one that had traditionally been made even worse by long waiting times on the phone. To combat this, the government department allocated £45 million in 2014 purely to focus on improving customer service, recruiting 3,000 new staff and doubling down on training (Gov UK, 2015). The investment appears to have paid off. An internal report published in 2017 revealed that the number of calls HMRC had handled had gone up, while waiting times had been slashed (HMRC, 2017). This ultimately makes it easier for the department to do its job – collect taxes. Many a branding agency london offers the benefit of having worked in a broad cross-section of industries.