What Does Customer Service Have to do with Cake?

BY Rachel Cagle
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Customer service is a complex, layered part of business, much like a cake, observes Jeffrey Mack in
his article, “What Does Cake Have to Do with Customer Experience?” Based on ideas from the book The Effortless Experience by CEB, Mack identifies the most crucial components of customer service and how they support each other.

The base layer is the vision the company has for its customer service. Your company’s vision lays the groundwork for your service and is what it will build from. Every great thing started as an idea. The service you give your customers is the same. Before you can develop a competition-​crushing customer service plan, you have to come up with what your customer service priorities are and build from them until you find what works best for you.

The next layer is customer promotion. No matter how well you think you know your rate of service, your clients will always know which parts are working and which aren’t better than you ever will. By asking your existing clients a single question, “How likely are you to recommend this product or service?” you’ll not only learn first-​hand if your clients have been promoting you to others, but you will also have the opportunity to ask what you can improve on if the answer is, “Not likely.” This question benefits you even if the answer isn’t what you wanted to hear because it also leads to the opportunity for constructive feedback. By asking this question, you’re showing your clients that you care about the quality of service you’re giving and and their opinions, you’re receiving invaluable ideas of ways to improve your service, and it’s also an easy way to check in on your existing clients.

To top off your creation, add the last layer: customer communication. We all know that it’s important to keep in touch with our clients, but we often don’t know the most effective ways to do so. As a result, we tend to send out spam emails. Not anymore! By using the previous layers of your cake, you produce the most effective top layer possible! Now is when you get to prove that you value the feedback you gathered from your clients in tier two by showing them what you’ve learned. Demonstrate that you’ve analyzed their feedback, and rebuilt and customized your service to meeting their specific needs. This final step ensures that your clients will feel valued, and they’ll understand that you use their feedback to consistently strengthen your service.

You now have a sturdy, well-​balanced cake that won’t collapse on itself.