If your product is excellent, shouldn’t your service be too?

Some stores are known for their exceptional customer service. These stores are generally higher-end, where people are spending more money, and therefore expect the utmost in service. One such store is Neiman-Marcus, which has developed a reputation for having outstanding customer service.  The website Luxist, has nominated the chain for a Reader’s Choice Award for Best Department Store.

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The truth is that if your offering is in the luxury category you cannot afford to have penny customer service. When people pay for a luxury offering, they are also paying for an experience. Can you imagine having a gold-standard product, and then not providing any type of customer service and/or experience?

A good example of this may be hotels. When you check into a Mandarin Oriental or a Ritz-Carlton, the service expectation is high. You expect a perfect room, with a wide range of amenities. You expect respectful, quick check-in, and you expect to be shown to your room. If you have any problem, hotel related or not, you expect that there is someone who will help you (concierge to book dinner reservations, for instance). On the other hand, when you check into a Motel6, you expect a clean room.  Period.  You know you won’t be getting much in the way of service.

This is not to say that if your product is not a luxury offering that you should feel free to provide lousy customer service. What we are saying is that you cannot afford to have a luxury offering without luxury service.

Your thoughts? Have you ever paid a luxury price to receive bad service?