Customer Care or Customer Culture? – Service Value Network

I have to be honest right up front and say that this blog was triggered by a terrible customer experience with Overstock.com. While I have every right to rant and rave and be one of “those” customers, I thought that I might channel the rage into something more positive. At least more positive for us and not for Overstock, because they lost a good customer, fore-v-e-r.

I will explain the story of how I went from loyal customer and advocate to their worst critic later. What I want to share here was the thought that came to me while dealing with this company. While there are thousands examples of customer experience nightmares in retail or consumer businesses, what came to me spans all industries. You might relate to this same thought. Most reasonable companies have some organization, person or functional area called “Customer Care”. This usually is meant to be something greater than just a customer support or call center but sometimes it is just lipstick on the pig. In the case where they have truly invested in a customer care organization though, it does not mean that the company is customer centric and certainly does not mean that they have a customer centric culture. In fact, most companies I have studied who have good customer focused cultures do not have or need a department called “Customer Care”. With a great customer culture, customer care is everyone’s job. A great example of this is Zappos.com.

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