Customer Service Tips from FeedBurner

FeedBurner is a company I have always had a lot of respect for. I’ve recently started using their services for my blog and have been impressed with their customer service. I’ve interacted with a few of their executives and have been equally impressed with them as well. The company is generally well regarded and has a good reputation. They were also recently acquired by Google for $100 million. Pretty good, I’d say.

A blog I particularly enjoy is one written by the co-founder of FeedBurner, Dick Costolo called Ask the Wizard. While the blog has primarily focused on aspects related to raising funding and its related practices, Dick recently posted about customer service. Needless to say, that interested me.

Dick talks about his experience with an airline and a hotel. The hotel, which didn’t talk about its customer service at all, provided great customer service. The airline, which gave the typical “we love our customers” bit, provided terrible customer service. His point (and one of the things I try to talk about): don’t just talk about it, do it! Talk is cheap, action is better. Dick then goes on to say:

You cannot provide or foster phenomenal customer service by saying you have it. You can only provide and foster customer service by embedding the customer in your company.

Pretty good advice. His suggestions for embedding customer service?

  1. Serve only the customer.
  2. Be transparent.

I’d agree with these as well.

Claiming you are customer-centric isn’t good enough, you have to be live and breath customer service and the act/mantra of being customer-centric. You have to think about how everything will affect the customer and the customer experience. Your decisions should be based upon what’s best for the customer. In my experiences, companies either do these or they don’t. I’ve rarely seen a middle ground.

Transparency is something I have discussed a lot at Service Untitled. There are plenty of posts here that explain my thoughts on transparency and how important it is to a successful customer service organization.

It’s always interesting to hear entrepreneurs give their takes on customer service. A lot of them look at big picture things (which is good) and their opinions are quite interesting. “Customer service people” have different, yet still very similar ideas of what makes a great customer service. I just like seeing how the opinions and techniques vary.

Sometime over the next week or so, I’m going to talk about how FeedBurner should handle the whole getting acquired by Google process. I’m sure they have a great plan, but you know what they say about opinions.

Oh, and this company recently linked to my blog. I’m curious to see what they end up doing – it looks like it may be pretty cool. If anyone from the company reads my blog (which I assume they do), give me a shout. I’d love to chat. In fact, any reader that would like to chat is more than welcome to contact me.