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What "Customer First" Really Means
Lob Culture
April 7, 2015

What "Customer First" Really Means

Author Avatar
Daniel Lian

Most companies call themselves customer-oriented. They throw phrases such as customer first and customer-centric around all the time...but what do they really mean? In 2005, Bain & Company surveyed 362 firms to find that 80% of them believed they delivered a “superior experience” to their customers. However when their customers were surveyed, only 8% agreed. Clearly, building a customer-first culture is much easier said than done.

Here at Lob, we continuously implement various customer service best practices, to ensure that our service is continually evolving. Below, you'll find a few of the practices we’ve put in place to put our customers first.

Everyone Does Support

All our team members support customers - everyone from Operations and Sales to Engineers and Designers. Our CEO makes it a point to read every single support ticket that comes through. Working on the “front lines” exposes employees to the customer pains and creates a great feedback loop. Each team member is able to see how customers interact with our product, feel the urgency when problems arise, and personally experience the gratification in resolving a live customer issue.

Recognize Exemplary Service

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Individuals that demonstrate excellent customer service are regularly recognized by the team in team-wide forums. Positively reinforcing exemplary service motivates employees and increases the chances that that level of service will continue. Furthermore, consistent recognition for exemplary service fosters the long-term development and evolution of customer-centric culture at our company. It is a way for employees to see tangible rewards of going above and beyond to serve customers’ needs. In practice, we have found 7Geese to be a great platform for both goal-setting and peer recognition.

Communicate Quickly and Transparently

Send us a message, regardless of channel, and you’ll hear from us shortly - sometimes within minutes. Our average first response time at Lob, including weekends, hovers around 6 hours and we are always trying to speed that up. Delaying responses to inquiries only delays you from potentially gaining another customer. Help them help you.

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Furthermore, we’ve found it almost impossible to over-communicate with a customer. If things are going accordingly, customers appreciate receiving a confirmation. If for whatever reason something goes off track, we explain to the customer 1) what happened, 2) what was affected, 3) what we’re doing to remedy the situation, and 4) how we will prevent it from happening again.

Embrace the Phone

In many situations, a 3 minute phone call can clear up what might otherwise take a string of emails back and forth. Thus, we actively make it known to the customer that we’re happy and available to answer any lingering questions over the phone if they so prefer. At times, we even seek out a phone conversation just to ensure that the customer has a full understanding of what we’re explaining. In practice, we’ve seen that the majority of customers genuinely appreciate this personal level of service. Whether customers are trying to send just one postcard or mass mail an entire zip code, we're always available to speak person-to-person.

Measure Performance, Gather Feedback, and Act On It

Lob sets organizational goals around improving customer service metrics and incorporating customer feedback. We make it a point to drive customer support with data. For example, we track average response times and NPS score as indicators of the quality of our service with tools like Zendesk and Delighted. We also set goals around building a set number of product features originating from customer requests/input. With these goals in place, we provide ourselves with mechanisms to help keep the customer as our main point of focus.

Final Thoughts

The practices above are just a few of the things Lob does to put our customers first. We work vigorously to ensure that they have the best possible experience with our API services. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to support@lob.com.

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